Amazon has won the rights to live stream Thursday Night Football next season in what will be a big blow to Twitter who held the rights for the previous year. The games will be simulcast on the NFL Network and either CBS or NBC as well as being streamed on Amazon.
However it comes at a steeper price, Amazon has paid $50 million to win the rights which is up from the $10 million that Twitter paid last season. One of the key differences will be that only Amazon customers paying for their Prime service will have access to the streams this season.
Last year, anyone could log on to Twitter could see the games being streamed for free. When Twitter first secured the rights to Thursday Night Football I personally spoke about how it was a big deal for the social media platform.
Twitter executives were thrilled to land the Thursday Night Football slot on their platform but as we all know by now, Twitter has problems. When the deal came up for renewal they were in no financial position to negotiate against other bidders. The move by Amazon comes as part of the retailers growing online video service.
Prime customers spend $99 per year for a membership that includes free shipping and a video service of movies and TV shows. Last season, the TV viewer numbers for Thursday Night Football dwarfed the audience on Twitter. Average viewer number on Twitter during the game was 266,000 while the average viewer number on TV for the game was 15.8 million.
With approximately 60 million households estimated to be using Amazon Prime this could be a deal that benefits the NFL more than the deal they had last year with Twitter.