A new entrant into the world of NFL broadcasting has emerged, Amazon, starting this past Thursday with the game between the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers.
While the NFL experimented with Internet streaming last season in their $10 million partnership with Twitter, this seasons $50 million Amazon partnership is expected to yield significantly more in the way of dividends for the league.
With over 25 million television NFL viewers in the USA alone – the $5 billion a year that the league charges to the regular cable networks (NBC, CBS, and ESPN) for the games and their rights, really makes you question the worth of the Amazon deal, but in this case the league is definitely on the right track.
With cord cutting increasing – especially among the millennial generation – alternative options need to be explored and Amazon is probably the best-positioned partner for the NFL in this regard. Amazon Prime Video has already established itself as a viable competitor to Netflix and the biggest gap in last season’s Twitter partnership was the lack of the big screen TV experience. Prime resolves this issue for the NFL as it already has a TV-ready app that is accessible on most Smart TVs, Android boxes, and also integrates seamlessly with its own Fire TV line of products.
Amazon is aiming to make its content available in 200 countries around the world and will offer some unique learning features to fans new to the game. In addition, multi-language support will be offered with feeds in Spanish and Portuguese in addition to the default English feed.
At a price point of $99/yr for Prime Service, this could be a definite win for Amazon, the league as well as Amazon customers too. Depending on the success of this experiment (Amazon has signed on for 10 Thursday games and 1 Christmas game), we can expect the bidding for airing rights in 2018 to be fast and furious!