Who says the NFL’s TV rights deals were done?
Just a few weeks after the league inked a $100 billion-plus TV deal with Disney, NBCUniversal, Fox, CBS and Amazon, the tech giant is swooping in to snag even more exclusive NFL games.
Amazon has struck a deal to take over exclusive rights to Thursday Night Football one year early, buying out the games that had been set to air on Fox. Amazon had been set to get exclusive rights beginning in 2023, now they will get them starting in 2022.
Terms of the deal will be the same as those announced last month, with Amazon airing 15 games exclusively per season.
That means that when the new NFL season kicks off, Thursday night games will stream exclusively on Amazon Prime Video (there will be one big caveat: Games will continue to air on local broadcast stations in the home markets of the teams playing).
The original deal with Amazon was significant as it will be the first time that a tech company has secured the primary TV rights to a slate of NFL games. Amazon has for the past four years had nonexclusive streaming rights to the Thursday games, which it most recently shared with Fox and NFL Network.
“We look forward to bringing Thursday Night Football exclusively to Prime members in 2022, a year earlier than previously announced,” said Marie Donoghue, vice president of Global Sports Video at Amazon, in a statement. “This expedited deal is an immediate differentiator for us as a service, as it gives Prime members exclusive access to the most popular sport in the United States.”
Specific details on Amazon’s NFL broadcast are still to-be-announced, but in past seasons the company has embraced tech-forward options like multiple announcer options, letting fans choose an announcing team that fits their taste (i.e. a stats-focused commentary team, or a scouts commentary feed, or even local home announcers for either team).
Amazon announced the news ahead of its newfront presentation, where it is expected to unveil new programming and make one of its first major brand pitches to the advertising community.