In one of its most enterprising deals to date, tech giant Amazon won the rights to stream Thursday night National Football League (NFL) games.
“By buying these rights, Amazon clearly demonstrates that they understand the unequaled power of live sports to attract consumers,” said Michael Nathanson, a senior analyst for MoffetNathanson on Wednesday.
Ten games will be available to live stream online for Amazon Prime members, who pay £79 ($99) per year or £7.99 per month.
Analysts estimate that as many as 60m households use Amazon Prime, the New York Times reported.
“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.
CBS and NBC will continue to broadcast the games on live television, and Verizon will make the games available to its wireless subscribers. The Thursday night games will also air on NFL Network, the league’s cable channel.
“We are continually looking for ways to deliver our games to fans wherever they watch, whether on television or on digital platforms and we are thrilled to bring Thursday Night Football to Amazon”, said Brian Rolapp, chief media and business officer for the NFL in a statement . “As has been the case with all our streaming initiatives, we look forward to continuing to innovate with our partners as we learn the best ways to serve our fans both this season and into the future.”
Agreements with Amazon and other internet companies are a way for the NFL to attract younger, tech-savvy fans and boost its ratings.
The NFL and Amazon have partnered on projects in the past. All or Nothing, the Emmy-nominated Amazon Original Series was produced by NFL Films. It is about to enter its second season.