NFL embarks on increasing awareness of Thursday night switch to streaming

In this photo illustration, the Amazon Prime Video logo seen
Getty Images

For nearly a decade, most of the NFL’s Thursday night package has been available on three-letter broadcast TV, with CBS, NBC, and Fox at one time or another holding the rights. This year, for the first time, the bulk of the Thursday games will stream on Amazon Prime.

This requires the NFL and Amazon to make sure football fans know about the change, and that they plan accordingly. That’s the simple explanation for the league’s decision to unveil the opening game of the new Amazon package during the first round of the 2022 draft.

The next question becomes the quality of that game. If the league will be unveiling it during the first round of the draft, it likely won’t be Jaguars-Texans. Peter King recently predicted a Chiefs home game for the Amazon debut, with the Broncos (if they don’t open the season at the Rams the prior Thursday) or the Chargers serving as the opponent.

In partnering with Amazon, the NFL opted for short-term revenue over maximized audience. It will take time and effort to get more people who would have watched the game on CBS, NFC, or Fox to pay $8.99 per month for Amazon Prime’s video service — assuming they have access to a sufficiently effective high-speed Internet connection. It’s also important for the NFL to adapt to the change in viewing habits in order to continue generating the millions of simultaneous viewers the league currently enjoys.

Whatever the ultimate ceiling, the NFL will be trying to start with the highest possible floor. That will include ensuring that Amazon gets the kind of schedule that will make NFL fans feel compelled to add Amazon Prime to their current streaming arrangements — and to use it on Thursday nights during football season.

19 responses to “NFL embarks on increasing awareness of Thursday night switch to streaming

  1. I will be one of those who will NOT buy Prime video to watch Thursday football (or any football that streams). The NFL made a big mistake (IMO) in leaving over-the-air broadcast channels. “Cut the cord”.

  2. While I already have Prime, I will not be watching any TNF game on Prime. No thanks. GFYS, NFL.

  3. Amazon Prime is the only streaming service I have, and I’ve really liked being able to watch NFL games. I can watch games on Prime with my TV or my laptop, or even my phone, if I am so inclined. I hope there comes a day when Prime carries all the NFL games.

  4. The football fans who already have Prime will be just fine.
    However, I strongly doubt anyone that doesn’t have Amazon is going to get it for 1 game a week for 4 months.
    If it’s a game they really want to watch, they’ll go to a friend’s house or a sports bar.
    The NFL is not “growing the game” with this move. They’re simply growing their bottom line.

  5. There have been a few games that were only on the NFL Network. That network only seems to be available on cable or satellite TV so I had no good option to see those games. Games should be as widely available as possible.

  6. Dance with the one who brung you. I don’t like this move, but I am not surprised by it.

  7. According to google 76.6 million households already have Amazon Prime, and there are 122.8 million households in the U.S. so 62% of households will have this already. And I think Amazon’s streaming price is competitive enough to get that number up to 75% over the next couple years.

  8. Can’t understand why all the negative comments about TNF. There are 147 million Prime members in the US, which likely dwarfs regular “cable” subscriptions. Amazon IS the cable company now.

  9. NFL games on the streaming services I already use? Yes, please!

    Taking them off of public broadcasts? BOOOOO!

  10. My dad loves football, he buys products, he has no idea how to stream a game. This is a stupid idea.

  11. The problem with Amazon Prime is that it’s streaming service is not very good. In many large metropolitan areas there is a significant delay in picture/sound because the bandwidth isn’t there (while other streaming services do not have the same issues).

  12. As a Prime customer I really love the inability to pause rewind or fast forward live NFL broadcasts in the year 2022, and it’s also great that I can’t watch the game after it’s over. I just love everything about this actually!

  13. mackcarrington says:

    April 23, 2022 at 2:55 pm

    The football fans who already have Prime will be just fine.
    However, I strongly doubt anyone that doesn’t have Amazon is going to get it for 1 game a week for 4 months.
    If it’s a game they really want to watch, they’ll go to a friend’s house or a sports bar.
    The NFL is not “growing the game” with this move. They’re simply growing their bottom line
    ———–
    Disagree. 1st off a month of prime is cheaper than going to a sports bar for 3 plus hours. I can get a month of prime almost for what I’d tip. 2nd it doesnt have to be the only reason someone gets prime. Football season also is during the holiday season so paying for prime means cheaper shopping at times and being able to shop from home with quicker delivery.

  14. That Bucs vs Chiefs game would be a good one for amazon as well.
    Not sure why Amazon would want to pick the Chiefs to host the first game on Amazon because the Chiefs are in rebuild mode. I think by the way they just gave away Tyreke Hill and HoneyBadger, they are shooting to be bad enough to have a Top 10 pick for when the Chiefs host the draft next year. The Chiefs are like that, putting something like hosting the raft as a higher priority than winning.

  15. What’s next, Baseball on Netflix ? Is the NFL still selling that crap about they operate as a nonprofit? seems to me just another money grab. I wont be watching any games on Amazon, they can shove it .

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