Good news for football fans who have enjoyed streaming Thursday Night Football over the past three years. Amazon and the NFL have extended their partnership to stream TNF telecasts on Prime Video and Twitch for another three seasons through the 2022 campaign.
As it has for the past three seasons, Amazon will stream 11 TNF telecasts each year. But there will be one key difference in this new deal with the NFL.
The streaming platform will get exclusive rights to a Saturday regular-season game played late in the season. According to Sports Business Journal’s John Ourand, Amazon will be required to sell rights for the telecast to local over-the-air stations in the two markets playing in that game. The telecast won’t be available to any other national networks.
From what we're told, Amazon will have an exclusive game in each of the next three seasons
— Scott Soshnick (@soshnick) April 29, 2020
How much Amazon is paying for the Thursday Night Football streaming rights each year hasn’t yet been announced. During the two previous seasons, Amazon paid $65 million annually. Both SBJ and Sportico report that, as could be expected, Amazon will pay a substantially higher rate for TNF rights in each year of the new agreement.
This new deal assumes that a 2020 NFL season will be played, of course. But the league is moving ahead with its regular business, such as last week’s NFL Draft, until any sort of decision has to be made. As the NFL plans its 2020 schedule, several contingencies are being incorporated in the event that the COVID-19 shutdown continues in the fall and more safety measures still need to be implemented. One version of the schedule could see pushing the beginning of the regular season back five weeks.
The three-year term for Amazon corresponds with the contract Fox has for Thursday Night Football. Amazon will simulcast the Fox TNF broadcast that also plays on NFL Network and Fox Deportes, while also offering interactive features like X-Ray and Next Gen Stats. Across all of those outlets, TNF averaged 15.4 million viewers in 2019. That was a four percent increase in audience from the previous season.
Amazon’s previous two-year deal for TNF expired after the 2019 season.