There have been rumblings for a while now that the NFL was listening to proposals for a game on Black Friday this fall, with the major push coming from Amazon.
Amazon wanted to make the game part of their annual Black Friday blowout, which sounds interesting but was perhaps a questionable strategy. Peter King reported last week that the league was seriously considering it:
The deal’s not done yet. It’s not as easy as it seems. There’s some opposition in the league about playing a game on Nov. 25, and there’s a decent chance the NFL will put off a Black Friday game on Amazon Prime till 2023. But it’s going to happen, I’m told, by next year at the latest.
Amazon has made a huge bid for the game. I’m told it’s between $70 million and $100 million for a Black Friday game, which would be added to the current package. (That’s in the same neighborhood of what network partners have paid for wild-card playoff games recently.) Seems like a win-win.
Today, King followed up his own reporting in a tweet that says the game won’t happen this year, but that 2023 would indeed be a likely target start date:
I'm hearing that the NFL will not play a Black Friday game on Amazon Prime, or anywhere, in 2022.
Lots of issues.
A 7th national game in one weekend was tough, as was the fact that it would been wedged right after the USA-England World Cup game.
Look for a 2023 Black Friday game.
— Peter King (@peter_king) May 2, 2022
The World Cup concern is a real one; for one thing, Fox’s commitment to the soccer event removes a potential bidder from the process, undercutting part of the point of offering a new piece of programming property. Even if the game is almost certainly destined to end up on Amazon, the NFL could offer it up to all possible outlets as a matter of protocol.
Plus the men’s World Cup ratings are probably going to be strong overall, and there’s no more anticipated match for the American audience than that Black Friday game against England, which has a real shot at smashing soccer records and delivering a massive overall audience.
Clearly there’s still interest from the league here or they wouldn’t be pushing forward. But it’s already May; adding this kind of extra tweak to the package might be too much, too fast. The real fascinating aspect will be if Amazon does indeed land the potential 2023 game. There’s clearly some synergy there and they’d have to be considered the overwhelming favorite, but for the sake of comedy it’d be amusing if Amazon pushed the league to consider this as a possibility and then didn’t actually land it in the end.