In mid-March, the NFL announced a series of new media deals, including a big one with Amazon that will bring its Thursday Night Football games to the company’s Prime platform. Per the original announcement, the deal would kick off with the 2023 season and continue on through 2033, but something changed behind closed doors and now the partnership will start a year earlier than first announced.
Amazon dropped the surprising announcement on its Prime sports Twitter account, revealing that football fans will be able to watch Thursday Night Football games on its Prime platform starting next year rather than two years from now. The deal will still run through 2023, making it an overall 11-year partnership rather than 10.
The terms of the deal remain the same as previously announced, according to Amazon, which notes that it will get 15 Thursday Night Football games each season, as well as a pre-season game. This marks the first time the NFL has given a streaming service an exclusive national rights package.
Given this revised timeline, the company notes that the existing tri-cast Thursday Night Football package will expire following the upcoming 2021 NFL season. Prime members will be able to stream the games, though the NFL also noted that each game will be available on OTA television in teams’ home markets.
Speaking about the revised deal, Amazon’s VP of Global Sports Video Marie Donoghue said:
We look forward to bringing Thursday Night Football exclusively to Prime members in 2022, a year earlier than previously announced. This expedited deal is an immediate differentiator for us as a service, as it gives Prime members exclusive access to the most popular sport in the United States.