Sports fans missing baseball, basketball, hockey, soccer and just about anything else that should be in play right now are holding out hope for the return of football in the fall. And Amazon is right there with them, as the tech giant announced Wednesday that it will once again deliver the live digital stream for “Thursday Night Football.”
The National Football League and Amazon reached a multi-year agreement to renew their exclusive partnership, which brings 11 games broadcast by FOX on television to an audience watching on Prime Video and Twitch across a variety of sites, apps and devices.
Amazon said that makes the games available to 150 million paid Prime members in over 200 countries. The company took over streaming rights for “TNF” from Twitter in 2017.
The new deal brings with it the right to exclusively stream one regular season game globally on Prime Video and Twitch. That game will be played on a Saturday in the second half of the 2020 regular season — and will still be televised in the participating teams’ home markets.
“As our relationship has expanded, Amazon has become a trusted and valued partner of the NFL,” Brian Rolapp, chief media and business officer for the NFL, said in a news release. “Extending this partnership around ‘Thursday Night Football’ continues our critical mission of delivering NFL games to as many fans in as many ways as possible both in the United States and around the world.”
Amazon’s version of “TNF” on Prime Video and Twitch brings with it some unique interactive viewing features, such as X-Ray and Next Gen Stats powered by Amazon Web Services, which are intended to bring fans closer to the game.
AWS is the official cloud and machine learning provider for the Next Gen Stats platform, which provides real-time location data, speed, and acceleration for every player during every play. AWS also helped power the recent — and entirely remote — NFL Draft.
Members watching on Prime can choose to watch the FOX broadcast, the FOX Deportes Spanish language coverage, and multiple other audio options.
“We know Prime members and the Twitch community around the world love the NFL, and we remain committed to giving them the best and most customizable streaming experience possible, with a broad selection of premium content available at their fingertips,” said Marie Donoghue, vice president of Global Sports Video at Amazon.
The average audience for “TNF” in 2019 was 15.4 million viewers. Digital streaming across Prime Video, Twitch, NFL digital, FOX Sports digital and Verizon Media mobile properties surpassed an average minute audience of over 1 million — up 43 percent from 2018.
The NFL streaming deal is part of Amazon’s growing video arm that includes the company’s Prime video library; its Amazon Studios production unit; and other sports-related live streaming deals.
Season five of the Amazon Original documentary series “All or Nothing,” produced by NFL Films, premiered in February with “All or Nothing: The Philadelphia Eagles,” exclusively on Prime Video.