An agreement between Amazon and the U.S. National Football League has been reached giving the ecommerce giant the streaming rights to Thursday Night Football games. Reports indicate that the 12-month deal is worth $50 million. This is the most ambitious sports deal ever for Amazon as the Seattle, Washington-based company seeks to add content to its video streaming offerings.
Prior to getting the streaming rights for professional football games, it is understood that there was a bidding war between Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Amazon. The agreement stipulates that Amazon will, in a period of 12 months stream 10 football games. Regular television broadcasts for the games will continue. Historically, NFL games that air on Thursday nights enjoy high popularity with approximately 16 million viewers tuning in to every game both on traditional television as well as on digital platforms.
Battle for new audiences
In the recent past, the National Football League has been trying out ways to attract new audiences such as younger audiences who perhaps have ditched cable or have never even had a subscription to cable. Last year, for instance, the sports body inked a deal with Twitter to stream a couple of games on the microblogging platform. However, Amazon’s deal with NFL will be to Twitter’s disadvantage as the microblogging platform has now lost the rights it had for the 2016/2017 platform which it had touted as the beginning of a new era of live-streaming.
German soccer league
This is not the first time that Amazon is getting into a deal to steam live sports content. In 2016 the online retail giant acquired the audio digital rights to Bundesliga, Germany’s premier soccer league.
Besides sports content, Amazon has also put in a lot of money on original content via Amazon Studios. This is available to Prime members as part of Amazon’s strategy to lure more and more people to join the service which costs about $100 per annum in the United States.
Most popular sport
As a Prime member, some of the benefits include 2-day shipping that is free as well as access to multimedia content. Currently, the number of Prime members in the United States is over 60 million as per estimates from analysts since Amazon does not publicly share that information. By getting into a deal which allows the ecommerce giant to air what consistently ranks as the most popular sport in America, Amazon is hoping to boost those membership numbers.