Amazon’s Thursday Night Football Begins New Era of NFL Streaming
To the joy and disappointment of football fans across the United States, the era of National Football League matches appearing exclusively on a streaming service is upon us.
Amazon Prime Video is the home page of “Thursday Night Football” for this upcoming season, marking the first time in league history that a streaming service will be the stand-alone carrier for a bundle of games. national game. The era begins on August 25 with a pre-season game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Houston Texans. Amazon’s first regular game will be on September 15, when the Los Angeles Chargers play the Kansas City Captains in Week 2 of the NFL season. Local broadcasters for teams to play in a given week will also broadcast games.
Amazon signed a deal with Nielsen this week to measure channels, a sign of confidence that it expects solid ratings. The company said in May, 80 million US subscribers watched Amazon Prime Video at least once in the past year. For context, Netflix ended the second quarter with 73.3 million monthly premium subscribers in the US and Canada. Disney+ ended its most recent quarter with 44.5 million subscribers in the US and Canada.
Those who want to watch the games will need to sign up for an Amazon Prime account, which costs $14.99 a month or $139 a year, or a Prime Video membership, which costs $8.99 a month.
New game features
To drive viewers to NFL broadcasts, cost Amazon $1 billion a year, live games will automatically start playing when people log into Amazon.com. Games will also be featured prominently on Prime Video’s home screen to notify subscribers that they’re happening in real time.
Viewers will be given the choice to watch, record or start from the beginning of the broadcast. If they don’t want to have to keep recording individual games, they’ll also have the option to record the entire block media of Thursday night games during the season.
Amazon is also launching other new tech features. On most platforms (it’s still working with Roku), it will provide “X-Ray stats,” which will give viewers the ability to see real-time stats on the screen. In addition to standard stats like pitch and touchdown, these will include so-called next-generation metrics, such as average time to pitch for midfielders and yards after contact. with running backward and collecting. Players will wear improved uniforms with an Amazon Web Services chip, allowing for instant updates.
Amazon will also have a customer bundle of X-Ray highlights via game updates for viewers who missed the action early and want to catch up. For Fire TV users, viewers will be able to speak commands like “show me stats” or “play last tap” on the remote. Those features will be in place for the regular season opening of Thursday Night Football.
Continuing a trend given by DisneyESPN’s and Paramount GlobalAmazon will also offer alternative broadcasts for those who want a less serious TV show, starting with the hit comedy. Dude Perfect YouTube Group. Amazon plans to add other alternative feeds over time.
Pain is increasing
Some growing pain is expected. For example, Amazon is preparing for feedback from frustrated viewers whose internet speeds can’t handle the live stream, or from viewers who are still unfamiliar with streaming navigation.
Amazon spokesman Tim Buckman said: “Without the bandwidth and channel limitations that limit optionality on linear platforms, our promise is to continuously listen to our customers, iterate, and have aims to develop new and better ways for more fans to enjoy the game.”
As for its main broadcast, Amazon believes viewers will be pleased. While Apple TV + got a bunch of initial feedback Because try to be different With its Major League Baseball games, Buckman said Amazon’s goal is to be great at providing a core game viewing experience before it was invented.
For each of its games, Amazon is tapping broadcasting legend Al Michaels, who kicked off NBC’s “Sunday Night Football,” along with longtime college football analyst Kirk Herbstreit .
Disclosure: NBC and CNBC are both units of NBCUniversal.