In 2016, the NFL and Twitter collaborated to let the social media service live stream 10 Thursday Night Football games. For the 2017 season, Amazon will own the rights to the games, according to Recode.
Twitter made an attempt to keep the games, with Facebook and YouTube trying to pry the rights away.
While Thursday night games weren’t all that great last year, we all got suckered into them anyway because, well, it’s football. So here’s everything you need to know about the change.
Schedule: A package of 10 games will be available on Amazon Prime this season — Weeks 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10 11, 13, 14, 15.
What does this mean for viewers?
Games won’t be able to be viewed on Twitter anymore, and Amazon will now offer the games to its Amazon Prime customers. Amazon Prime is a paid subscription service offered by the company, which provides free shipping and streaming items — which now includes 11 Thursday night NFL games.
Can I still watch the games on other platforms?
Yes. Thursday Night Football will still alternate between CBS, NBC, and NFL Network, just as it did last season. The viewing options will vary by the week, with CBS and NBC carrying five games apiece. NFL Network always airs games that are on NBC or CBS, but will also exclusively broadcast its own games.
During the 2016 season, eight games aired only on NFL Network, with two games aired on Saturday, and two on Sunday. The games that appeared on CBS and NBC were streamed on Twitter — and we can likely expect the same treatment with Amazon. The schedule for 2017 is not available yet, but will come out later this month.
Amazon will carry the coverage of its 11 games and the advertisements. CBS and NBC will also have the ability to stream the games as they broadcast them, as well as Verizon to its wireless subscribers. The games broadcast on CBS and NBC will be the games that Amazon will carry on its platform.
How much did Amazon have to pay for this?
$50 million. That’s for 11 games, so if you do the math, Amazon paid $4.5 million per Thursday night game. It’s a sizable increase from the $10 million that Twitter paid for one fewer game last season. Many NFL fans would tell you that’s a bad investment, but Amazon has been making a push to provide more live sports.
“For us, this is about starting to bring live sports to our Prime members all around the world,” said Jeff Blackburn, the company’s head of business development and entertainment.