Amazon wins bidding war for streaming rights to Thursday Night Football

Amazon wins bidding war for streaming rights to Thursday Night Football
Amazon has reached an agreement with the NFL to stream 10 Thursday Night contests over the course of the 2017-2018 NFL season. For the rights to these games, Amazon had to pay the NFL $50 million. Despite talk that viewership of regular season games was down last year, the check that Amazon handed over to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was for 10 times the amount that Twitter paid the league last year to stream 10 Thursday Night battles.

Perhaps one of the reasons why the price to obtain the rights was so much higher this year, was the fact that a bidding war for the games erupted between Amazon, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. Amazon could afford to pay through the nose for the streaming rights because it is offering the streamed NFL games to Amazon Prime members only.  Prime members pay $99 a year for the right to receive two-day delivery on purchases; they also are given unlimited free streaming of movies and television shows from Prime Video. Amazon has 60 million Prime subscribers in the U.S. and the weekly NFL games could entice some to renew their subscription, or even bring new consumers into the Prime fold. The Thursday night games draw 13 million viewers each week on broadcast or cable television.

Amazon is expected to generate a much larger viewing audience for the Thursday Night games than Twitter did. Amazon's streaming will be up against the television broadcasts of the games which switch off between CBS and NBC. In addition, cable channel NFL Network also offers some of the Thursday contests.

source: WSJ (subscription req'd)
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