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The NFL’s Thanksgiving weekend is getting a little longer.
Starting in 2023, the league will add a game on the day after Thanksgiving that will stream on Amazon’s Prime Video, thus drawing millions of viewers into the ecommerce giant’s realm on the biggest shopping day of the year. The deal, rumored for some time, adds another NFL window for the streamer, which took over the Thursday Night Football franchise this year.
“Thanksgiving is synonymous with football, and we’re excited to give our fans another day of NFL action during this holiday weekend,” said Hans Schroeder, COO of NFL Media. “Amazon is uniquely positioned to partner with us for this game as Black Friday is one of the most important days of the year for their business.”
A Black Friday game will also keep Prime Video in the NFL mix during Thanksgiving week, when Thursday games are reserved for the league’s broadcast network partners. The afternoon games on CBS and Fox are typically among the most watched NFL regular season contests in any given year; NBC carries a primetime game that usually beats its Sunday-night average.
“Thursday Night Football has already proven tremendously successful on Prime Video, delivering millions of viewers every week, and we’re excited to expand our relationship with the NFL with the inaugural Black Friday game, starting next year,” said Jay Marine, Prime Video’s global head of sports. “Black Friday is the unofficial start of the holiday season, and we’re thrilled to kick it off with a gift for football fans across the country with this new game.”
Through its first five games on Prime Video, Thursday Night Football is averaging about 10.8 million viewers per contest (a figure that includes traditional over-the-air telecasts in teams’ home markets and out-of-home viewing). Fox and the NFL Network combined to average 12.84 million viewers on Thursdays last season. Amazon’s Thursday audience is also several years younger on average than that of the league’s other TV partners.
The NFL and Amazon are looking at a 3 p.m. ET/noon PT start time for the 2023 Black Friday game on Nov. 24. The teams will be announced when the NFL schedule is released early next year.
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