Thanksgiving weekend is reportedly going to have another nationally televised NFL game, with the game taking place on one of the biggest shopping days of the year, streaming on one of the biggest e-commerce sites in the world.
According to Sports Business Journal’s John Ourand, the NFL will have a game on Black Friday starting in 2023. Amazon, the new exclusive rightsholder for Thursday Night Football, is going to be streaming the game as it becomes an annual thing.
Starting the Black Friday game in 2023 instead of 2022 is supposedly so Amazon can “get its sea legs in producing NFL games,” and while Ourand might be correct, it might not be the only reason.
Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk mentioned that due to the NFL’s antitrust exemption, they cannot televise primetime games on Friday nights in November. If that’s the case, and the game has to be played in the afternoon, the NFL would be going up against the USA-England FIFA World Cup game. For reference, the USA-England 2010 World Cup game got 17.1 million viewers so a World Cup game featuring the United States on network TV against an NFL game on a streaming service might result in a rare “L” for the NFL. It might be a better move to wait until 2023 and get things off to a great start.
There are certainly positives and negatives to having a Black Friday game. On one hand, with Thanksgiving games having such high viewership that rivals some NFL playoff games, it makes sense to carve out another national broadcast window that weekend. Even if that’s going to be on a streaming service. On the other hand, with three Thanksgiving games, a Sunday night game, and a Monday night game, adding another game will further water down the Sunday afternoon slate of games. But with Amazon reportedly paying nearly $100 million more just for this Black Friday game, that’s going to make the juice worth the squeeze.