With the NFL schedule being finalized ahead of its traditional spring release, networks are currently lobbying hard for various concessions and perks.
That happens every year, of course, and John Ourand has a column today at the Sports Business Journal detailing which perks and changes various networks and outlets are pushing for. There’s plenty of interesting information in there, but at the very bottom Ourand lists his final item: Amazon pushing for an exclusive Black Friday game.
The online retail/streaming/entertainment behemoth is already taking over the Thursday night window starting this season, and clearly has an eye on how to leverage their new relationship with the NFL into what’s best for Amazon (which is all Amazon ever does.)
Amazon has made a little bit of noise about scheduling a game on Black Friday. A Black Friday game would complement Amazon’s e-commerce business, and it would be similar to its Premier League strategy in Britain, where it carries all of the league’s Boxing Day games. But this store may be closed; the NFL has been lukewarm to this idea.
That the NFL wouldn’t be into the idea isn’t a surprise. Friday is one of the last remaining days that has no NFL tradition; even Saturday has games in the winter and during the postseason. Friday, though, would be an entirely new territory for the league, and they don’t have a lot of incentive to break new ground there just for what amounts to an Amazon promotional stunt.
The stranger part might be that Amazon would push for it at all. Black Friday is already a huge day for Amazon, you wouldn’t think they’d need any extra incentive to get people on the site that weekend. Obviously making anything an “event” is all anyone wants to do now, but it’s not hard to see why that’s a pretty easy pass for the NFL at this point.