Amazon and the NFL Team-up

The NFL and Amazon have agreed to allow Amazon Prime members to stream a playoff game this season.

The deal is an expansion of the existing relationship between the two companies. Currently, Amazon streams 11 Thursday Night Football games annually. However, the company has been looking to carry more football on its Amazon Prime Video platform.

The standing deal is going into its fourth year surrounding Thursday night football. Earlier this year, Amazon added a three-year extension on the “TNF” digital games package and scored an additional single exclusive late-season NFL game for each season.

The price for the Thursday night football deal’s renewal was reportedly around $75 million for the extension.

“The NFL on Prime Video and Twitch will continue to provide members a unique viewing experience with interactive features like X-Ray and Next Gen Stats powered by AWS that bring fans closer to the game, and members will be able to choose from multiple alternative audio options exclusive to Prime Video,” Amazon said in a blog post about the renewal.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the exact terms for Amazon’s access to the playoff game were not disclosed. Still, Amazon’s price is reported to be significantly higher than the per-game range Amazon is paying for regular-season games.

The game in question is one of the two new “wildcard” playoff games the NFL added to its postseason schedule. Amazon will share the rights to stream the Jan. 10, 2021 game with ViacomCBS Inc., which will air the game on CBS and Nickelodeon along with its streaming platform.

While Amazon’s financial deal has not been disclosed, ViacomCBS paid $70 million for the Jan. 10 game rights. Additionally, Comcast Corporation paid $75 million for the other new wildcard game this season to stream on its broadcast channel and Peacock streaming platform.

The deal comes in the middle of a difficult season for the NFL as the coronavirus pandemic takes center stage. With players testing positive for the coronavirus and the league being forced to push games, there has been a domino effect. The virus even led to an extremely rare Tuesday night football game this week so that the NFL could attempt to stay on track for its goal of finishing the regular season in 17 weeks.

Ratings have also been slightly down for the league in comparison to a regular season. The dip can be partially attributed to the pandemic, but also the presidential election. Election coverage currently dominates television broadcasting, and the NFL is experiencing similar broadcasting dips the way it did during the 2016 election.

However, football broadcasts still occupy most of the Nielsen rankings of most-viewed shows. According to Deadline, a survey of 16 million smart TVs showed NFL programming accounted for more than five percent of all TV viewing in September.

In recent years, the league has also switched up its broadcasting schedule to increase the number of outlets with games and create additional revenue streams. While it is expected that the primary TV partners will remain ESPN, FOX, CBS, and NBC, the league is looking elsewhere for additional viewers and money.

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