For the 2017 NFL season, Amazon will be the official live streaming service for the NFL’s “Thursday Night Football,” as first reported by Sports Business Journal’s John Ourand on Tuesday, Apr. 4. Amazon and NFL agreed to a one-year deal to livestream the 10 “TNF” games carried by CBS and NBC on television, beating out other major companies like Facebook, YouTube and last year’s “TNF” online carrier Twitter. Amazon paid $50 million for the one-year NFL rights, five times what Twitter had paid for in 2016.
The streams will be placed behind the Amazon Prime paywall but those with Prime memberships worldwide will be able to access these games. The previous two streaming ventures by the NFL — with Yahoo for an NFL Buffalo-Jacksonville game in London, England in 2015 and with the aforementioned Twitter in 2016 — were available for free.
NFL’s “Thursday Night Football” will be also streamed online for free by the apps of CBS or NBC (depending on which network carries it on TV that night) as well as to mobile devices exclusively to Verizon Wireless users.
The NFL already has an existing deal with Amazon for the NFL Films-produced series “All or Nothing.”
The Twitter streams of “Thursday Night Football” in 2016 averaged 265,000 viewers on a per-minute basis. As a result of that 2016 Twitter-NFL deal, Twitter increased its distribution on connected TVs, and the NFL was made available to Twitter’s young (70 percent were under 24 years) and international (25 percent were from outside the U.S.) audience.