Amazon can earn a wild-card game, based on regular-season viewership

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Amazon has expanded its relationship with the NFL by adding Thursday Night Football. Amazon can further expand its relationship with the NFL by adding a wild-card playoff game.

Per a source with knowledge of the terms of the deal, Amazon can secure the rights to a wild-card playoff game based on viewership achieved by its Thursday night package, which becomes an official Amazon property in 2023.

In moving the Thursday games to Amazon, NFL is trading maximum viewership for maximum dollars. Surely, the total audience numbers generated by Amazon will be much lower than they would have been on FOX, NBC, CBS, or ABC. With none of the broadcast networks keen on paying the premium (both in rights fees and production costs) to buy a ratings win on multiple Thursday nights during football season, the Amazon alternative became obvious.

It’s also a prudent experiment for both the league and Amazon. By the next round of TV deals, Amazon may have the infrastructure and knowledge to make a bigger play — and to automatically deliver a bigger audience.

The advertising value also is enhanced for Amazon, in comparison to traditional broadcast networks. Commercials during the game can be targeted to specific consumers. Ferrari, for example, would never buy ads for a FOX prime-time game, since 99 percent of the audience would never be thinking about buying a Ferrari. On Amazon, however, Ferrari can try to close the deal with people whose buying patterns and browsing habits suggest that a nudge would be useful.

Amazon also could (and likely will) use commercials that allow the viewer to instantly order items that the viewer has bought in the past through Amazon Prime, like shaving cream.

The fact that the NFL has given Amazon a path to a playoff game based on viewership shows that the league is aware of the possibility that not enough people will actually see the games. This wrinkle gives Amazon extra incentive to aggressively market the Thursday night product through all available media.

23 responses to “Amazon can earn a wild-card game, based on regular-season viewership

  1. I get Amazon Prime, so yeah I can be “nudged” into buying a Ferrari.
    If you don’t already get Amazon Prime, no one is going to get it just for 4 months of Thursday Night Football.

  2. That is really disappointing. I could see a simulcast, but excluding what would be a huge part of the population is a poor decision. I have never purchased anything from amazon and won’t in the future.

  3. Florio is right, the play is completely different because targeting advertising yields higher results and higher revenue. Amazon will not be a status quo passive participant satisfied with sharing the games with the traditional networks. They’ll make a business case and I like their odds.

  4. 89% of the households in America have Amazon Prime. They are more popular than Church. If you can’t afford a Ferrari you won’t be seeing Ferrari ad, you’ll probably see an add for vehicle you’d be most likely to purchase.

    Local games will be broadcast on local stations.

  5. Amazon sucks. If I wanted Chinese made garbage products I’d go to Walmart.

  6. This is a mistake. Sports leagues should always go for max viewership where possible.

    When you confine yourself to niche channels, you define yourself as a niche sport, with a niche audience. That’s a downward spiral that’s nearly impossible to pull out of.

  7. I hope they become the London of the networks and only broadcast Jacksonville games.

  8. always great to hear all the new ways tech companies use our personal data to make money for themselves.

  9. Hopefully there will still be a college game on Thursday nights, I’ll just watch that one. I pay way too much for TV already.

  10. You know what would be absolutely awesome? If NFL Sunday Ticket went away and somebody like Amazon stepped in and offered something like an a la carte menu of games. Just want to watch the Bears and Packers in Chicago? Pay for just the one game. Steelers fan that lives in LA, buy just the Steelers games. NFC East fan that lives in Idaho? Buy just an NFC East package. You want all the games? Buy a package that gives you every game and replays of those games.

    I don’t have Direct TV and have no intention of ever getting it as long as I have Gigbit internet and can stream whatever I want to watch way cheaper. But I would love to be able to watch the games I want and not have to rely on broadcast TV to decide if that game is what people in my region of the country want to watch.

  11. mackcarrington says:

    March 19, 2021 at 8:08 pm

    I get Amazon Prime, so yeah I can be “nudged” into buying a Ferrari.
    If you don’t already get Amazon Prime, no one is going to get it just for 4 months of Thursday Night Football.
    I’ll disagree on not getting it for 4 months of Thursday football. Considering fans in the past have complained about nfl ticket and not wanting to pay for all the games to watch their 1 or 2 games they want to see, this is no different. $15 for a month with amazon prime would be cheaper than if you were able to order 1 game on ppv. Also Oct/Nov/Dec are the 3 busiest shopping months in the year so although your right no is getting “nudged” into buying a Ferrari this could easily nudge them into a prime subscription for those months to save on expedited shipping.

  12. Lots and lots of people have Amazon’s prime, mostly my age who has a wife as ups is here everyday and the shows/movies she watches, then I can watch football on thf

  13. I don’t live in the Primary market of my Team. I get to watch about half the games on network TV and have to go to the sports bar for the rest. I would like to see a Team season ticket on Amazon, where I could see all of my teams games for say $ 100 a season. It would be a great deal for me as I generally pick up the check for my kids and grandkids when we have to go to the sports bar to watch. I don’t know if the NFL realizes how big a market this would be. I have had the NFL ticket. Not a Big fan of the satelite ( Wife or kids always seem to screw it up ) and I still need the cable company for internet. NFL is missing out on a massive revenue stream.

  14. People need to stop using companies like Amazon just because it’s slightly cheaper and slightly more convenient. They’re not your friend. Nor are any of these other tech companies. I guess that’s the problem, none are better than the other, so what choice is there. It’s impossible to avoid patronizing these companies unless you go and live in the woods. I fear it’s too late. They and their partners in the media control the spread of information.

  15. most people don’t know this for some reason but you don’t need prime to watch the games…amazon also streams them on twitch on their nfl channel

  16. I think it’s great, I hope more games become more convenient to the folks that don’t have cable or some other ridiculously expensive TV package

  17. Gotta love get off my lawn guy that doesn’t know what Amazon Prime is.

  18. Amazon doesnt need to earn anything. Give it a few years and the NFL will be begging to showcase their product on Amazon’s platform.

  19. This is ridiculous. At some point, people will turn away from greed. Maybe not right away, but you have to know when to say when. This is not a huge deal, but it’s a trend toward pay per view NFL. They’re going to lose their revenue stream, and that’s going to kill player salaries. The NFLPA should have the foresight to push hard against this.

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