Amazon is set to stream a dozen NFL games worldwide for the next three seasons on both Prime and the Twitch live-streaming platform, under a renewal of its pact with the league for rights to “Thursday Night Football” games through 2022.
And Amazon has secured an additional carve-out: Under the new deal with the NFL, it will have exclusive global rights to one late-season game on Prime Video and Twitch each of the next three seasons.
Terms of the renewed deal weren’t disclosed. Amazon has held the “TNF” streaming rights for the past three seasons (starting in 2017) and clearly it has found value through delivering NFL games to its more than 150 million Prime members around the world. Amazon had been paying about $65 million annually for the package of Thursday games under its 2018 two-year renewal — and sources said it is paying more under the new deal.
“Amazon has become a trusted and valued partner of the NFL,” said Brian Rolapp, the league’s chief media and business officer, in a statement. “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.”
For each of the next three seasons, Amazon Prime Video and Twitch will stream Fox’s broadcast of the 11 “Thursday Night Football” games in over 200 countries and territories. All “TNF” games will continue to be distributed under the league’s “tri-cast” model: on broadcast (Fox), cable (NFL Network, Fox Deportes), and digital (Prime Video and Twitch).
For the 2020 season — again, assuming the NFL is ready to play ball — Amazon will have exclusive streaming rights to one Saturday game in the second half of the regular season, produced by CBS. Amazon also has exclusive rights to one game for each of the 2021 and 2022 seasons but the date, day of the week and matchup will likely change year to year. (Amazon has global exclusivity to those games with the exception of their expected availability on free, over-the-air TV stations in the participating teams’ home markets, under the NFL’s longstanding business practice to make games available on local broadcast television; however, the deals with local TV affiliates have not been done yet.)
On Prime Video and Twitch, “Thursday Night Football” will continue to provide interactive features like X-Ray and Next Gen Stats. On Prime Video, viewers can choose to watch the Fox broadcast with the original audio feed; the Fox Deportes Spanish language coverage; or multiple alternative audio options exclusive to Prime Video.
“We know Prime members and the Twitch community around the world love the NFL,” said Marie Donoghue, Amazon’s VP of global sports video. “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.”
In 2018, Fox Sports clinched a deal with the NFL to produce “Thursday Night Football” for five seasons. At the time, Amazon signed a two-year extension to the original deal. Last year, digital streaming of “Thursday Night Football” across Prime Video, Twitch, NFL digital properties, Fox Sports digital and Verizon Media mobile had an average minute audience of over 1 million, up 43% versus the year prior, according to the league.
The NFL and Amazon’s partnership spans across other content, including original docuseries “All or Nothing,” produced by NFL Films, which has run for five seasons so far. In addition, since 2017, the NFL has used Amazon Web Services as its official cloud and artificial-intelligence provider for the Next Gen Stats platform.