Amazon Is Paying Big Bucks for Thursday Night Football

Rachel Curry - Author
By

Sep. 16 2022, Published 12:14 p.m. ET

Amazon Inc. (AMZN) recently scored the rights to Thursday Night Football for the next 11 years. Amazon is now taking the place of Fox, which has had control of it for the past four years. See what the deal means for NFL fans.

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As for how much money Amazon shelled out for Thursday Night Football, it’s a hefty annual sum. Here are the details.

Thursday Night Football airs on Amazon Prime.

For at least the next 11 years, Amazon Prime will be the home of Thursday Night Football, marking a big win for streaming services over television. While local news stations in playing teams’ home markets will still show the games on TV, most people will have to resort to Amazon’s streaming option to catch a glimpse.

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For anyone wondering, an annual Amazon Prime subscription costs $139 — a value that is poised to increase over time.

Amazon to pay $1 billion annually for rights to Thursday Night Football

Thursday Night Football isn’t cheap, and Amazon knows this firsthand. When the company locked into a deal with the NFL in March 2021, it signed on to an expensive contract. The company will pay $1 billion per year through the 2033 football season to hold the exclusive rights to Thursday Night Football (excluding home markets).

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Thursday Night Football games have been available on Amazon Prime since 2017, but they weren’t an exclusive streamer — until now.

Forget 'Lord of the Rings' — Amazon is spending big on Thursday Night Football.

Amazon made waves when it launched The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, which became the most expensive TV show ever made at a budget of $715 million. The price tag on Thursday Night Football blows that out of the water.

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In addition to the annual $1 billion fee for streaming rights, the company will be shelling out for a range of announcers to give watchers a choice on who they want to hear. Al Michaels and Kirk Herbstreit are on the docket, as well as some well-known sports names and a Spanish language option. The pregame segment will also be chock full of former NFL superstars like Richard Sherman, Andrew Whitworth, and Ryan Fitzpatrick.

Football fans have mixed feelings about Amazon’s cinch.

Some viewers on Thursday, Sept. 15 touted the incredible video quality of Amazon Prime’s Thursday Night Football, especially the “Prime Vision” feature that lets you select from 22 vantage points.

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Others aren’t so sure. For one, some older football fans are having trouble working the system, though that troubleshooting should figure itself out with time.

NFL reporter Charles Robinson tweeted about his experience watching Thursday Night Football on Amazon Prime, “The stadium acoustics feel weird. Not crisp. The sound of the stadium isn’t really coming through the way it does on NBC’s primetime games. Between snaps it feels dead. It makes the broadcast feel a little lethargic.”

While reviews are mixed, one thing is for sure. Amazon Prime holds a pivotal place in Thursday Night Football for the foreseeable future. Based on the $1 billion annually the company is paying for the gig, that’s a facet that won’t change anytime soon.

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