Why is Thursday Night Football only on Amazon Prime?

Why is Thursday Night Football only on Amazon Prime? NFL fans have enjoyed a modicum of consistency with when and where they can find games throughout the regular season in recent years.

“Sunday Night Football” has been on NBC and “Monday Night Football” has been on ESPN since 2006. CBS has carried Sunday afternoon NFL games since 1956. Fox has carried games since 1994. If there’s been one inconsistency, it has been the Thursday prime-time broadcast, which has been going on only since 2006 and has bounced around from the NFL Network to CBS to NBC to Fox.

Now, another change is coming to the broadcast. Starting in 2022 and running for at least the next 11 years, “Thursday Night Football” contests will be carried exclusively on streaming giant Amazon Prime Video.

Amazon has been one of the top streaming services in recent years, but has seen a spike in attention lately due to the emergence of popular shows like “The Boys,” “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” and “The Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power.” Now, it will look to make even more waves in the streaming world as it becomes the only place to watch “Thursday Night Football” in the United States for the foreseeable future.

Thursday Night Football only on Amazon Prime

Why is Thursday Night Football only on Amazon Prime?

Viewers finding “Thursday Night Football” on Amazon is not exactly new. Before the start of the 2017 NFL season, Amazon acquired non-exclusive streaming rights for several “Thursday Night Football” games during the year. It maintained those streaming rights through the 2021 season, allowing viewers to also watch games on the live streaming platform Twitch.

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In December 2020, The New York Post reported Amazon had become the frontrunner to snag the exclusive rights to carry games on Thursday night. In the post, Andrew Marchand reported TV networks had told the NFL that Thursday was a less-than-desirable night. The Disney/ESPN/ABC group had been discussed as a possible contender for Thursday, as was Apple.

On March 3, 2021, The Wall Street Journal reported Amazon was the likeliest home for “Thursday Night Football” games, with a deal likely to be done by the next week. It reported Amazon had been paying between $75 and $100 million.

The NFL announced on March 18, 2021 its latest slate of broadcast deals, noting that Amazon Prime Video would be the exclusive home of “Thursday Night Football” starting in 2023 through 2033. It was reported by Decider that Amazon’s deal with the NFL will pay the league $1 billion per year through the 2033 season. The deal comes with an increase from 11 “Thursday Night Football” games to 15.

“‘Thursday Night Football’ will be our first-ever digital package and we are thrilled to exclusively partner with Amazon to bring our games to more fans on more platforms. NFL football drives passionate viewers and Amazon will enable us to continue to grow our fanbase in innovative and compelling ways,” commissioner Roger Goodell said in a release.

But ahead of the 2021 season, the NFL Network, Fox and Amazon opted out of the final year of a deal that would have the games broadcast across all three platforms. According to the Post, Fox wanted out of the final year of its agreement with the NFL that paid the league $650 million per season for the streaming rights over the five years of the deal. The Post reported the reasoning for Fox’s early exit was because it was difficult to make money on Thursday nights.

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Thursday Night Football only on Amazon Prime

What will Amazon NFL broadcasts look like?

Throughout the 2021 season, Amazon began to put together what its “Thursday Night Football” broadcast would look like. Most prominently, that meant the voices behind the camera. First, it was Al Michaels, who had been the long-time voice of NBC’s “Sunday Night Football.” Then it was Kirk Herbstreit, ESPN’s college football analyst who had begun to call more NFL games in recent years.

There are going to be some new visual elements to the broadcast as well. In addition to dual Skycam systems, there will be 13 super-slo-mo cameras and TrackMan ball-tracking technology, according to Sports Video Group.

CNBC also reported Amazon will show statistics using the X-Ray technology, including traditional stats like passing yards as well as next-gen stats like average time to throw and yards after contact. With that, those watching on Fire TV can speak commands into the remote to do things like show stats or show replays of highlights during the game. Viewers can also watch live, from the start or record the broadcast.

In August, Deadline reported Amazon had reached an agreement with Nielsen to track viewership for its Thursday broadcasts for three years. Nielsen will be tracking pregame, in-game and postgame broadcast elements on the broadcast, and it will be tracking viewership both on Amazon and Twitch.

On Thursday, featuring a high-profile matchup between the Chiefs and Chargers, viewers will get their first chance to see a regular-season clash for the first time on an exclusive broadcast of Amazon Prime Video. Given that this runs until 2033, viewers should start to get used to the new look

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Thursday Night Football on Amazon Prime Video

Amazon Prime Video is the exclusive home of the NFL’s Thursday Night Football broadcast through 2033. Each season, Prime Video will stream 16 regular season games and one preseason matchup.

Amazon Prime is an enticing service with its free two-day shipping and extensive Prime Video streaming library. Adding 16 Thursday Night Football games into the mix makes it a must-have for football fans who want access to the most NFL games.

As the 2023 NFL schedule shows, several crucial matchups are on Thursday Night Football, and each game comes equipped with Amazon’s X-Ray and Next Gen Stats functions. These interactive features allow you to view real-time analytics alongside the game. But you’ll need an Amazon device like an Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K or Amazon Fire TV Cube for the most optimized experience.

Both Amazon Prime and standalone Prime Video subscribers receive Thursday Night Football games. But we outline whether the service truly deserves a place in your streaming roster. Keep scrolling to learn how to watch TNF on Prime Video and view the complete 2023 TNF schedule.

Thursday Night Football only on Amazon Prime

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