Amazon, YouTube, Twitter, Verizon bidding on streaming Thursday nights

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The NFL now knows who its TV partner will be for the next five years of Thursday Night Football after agreeing to a deal with FOX worth more than $3 billion. But the league will make a little more money when it finds a streaming partner.

Four giants in the space — Amazon, YouTube, Twitter and Verizon — are bidding for Thursday night games, according to Variety.

Amazon streamed Thursday night games last year after Twitter did it the year before. Amazon said its streams reached 17 percent more viewers than Twitter’s, which would be a rare case of NFL viewership increasing last year. The NFL’s streaming audience, however, is tiny compared to the network television audience.

Facebook has previously shown interest in streaming NFL games but is not bidding on Thursday Night Football this year.

Some day the league may sell a package of games exclusively to a streaming partner. But that day appears to be several years off, at least. For now, the streaming rights are a small add-on to the league’s huge TV contracts.