NFL Game Streaming Rights Go from TWITTER to Amazon


Micro-blogging social network Twitter had something of a winning recipe in its hands by gaining the rights to live-stream NFL “Thursday Night Football” games during the league’s previous season. This was seen as a massive measure meant to arrest the declining revenues and user base of their platform in previous years. To that end Twitter had paid the NFL $10 million for the rights. Now a new season is gearing up and apparently the NFL found their streaming arrangement wanting, and has floated the rights once more. This time a more heavyweight online giant has stepped up to the plate and paid a much higher amount for the deal to boot.

NBC Sports reports that Amazon, the most prominent online retail marketplace and multimedia provider in the world today, has negotiated a streaming deal for the NFL Thursday Night games for the 2017 season worth $50 million, five times the amount offered by Twitter the year before. It might sound like good news to those who chose Amazon, except that the games will only be available to subscribers of the Amazon Prime online service, which provides streaming programs and videos as well as online shopping perks for an annual $99 fee.

John Ourand of “SportsBusiness Journal” remarked of the deal that Amazon had hoped to take over the NFL streaming rights from Twitter as quickly as possible in order to have time to create an advertising setup around their new acquisition before the this year’s season kicks in. This of course won’t mean that Amazon ads will override the ones added on by the broadcasters from NBC and CBS. Instead, the online retail giant will be doing nifty stuff on the live-stream footage like having virtual buttons popping up on screen corresponding to their own humongous list of products, with Amazon Prime viewers needing only to “press” those buttons to instantly buy the stuff through their Amazon accounts.

San Francisco 49ers v Chicago Bears

Already analysts are predicting a more productive and profitable partnership between the NFL and Amazon compared to Twitter regarding the live-stream opportunities. Through Amazon’s platform the games are said to be able to reach an audience with more disposable income than Twitter users, and thus design more ad marketing to appeal to them. The deal will also allow Amazon to sell advertising space to other companies with pricey products that are out of the average spending range. This NFL agreement and other similar deals Amazon has on the table could see them emerge as a new major partner of the league with better advertising options.

The NFL is planning to announce their full 2017 season game schedule – including the Thursday Night games to be streamed by Amazon – sometime in April before the league draft.

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