Twitter nearly a year ago to the day signed a deal with the NFL to livestream 10 Thursday night football games during the 2016 regular season. The microblogging platform reportedly paid less than $10 million for the rights to broadcast the games despite rival bids topping $15 million.
The NFL is again looking to stream Thursday night games online but will reportedly command a lot more money this time around, thus attracting a new partner with deeper pockets.
Sources familiar with the matter tell The Wall Street Journal that Amazon has purchased the rights to stream the 10 football games this season for a whopping $50 million. If accurate, that’s five times as much as Twitter paid a year ago.
The Thursday night games will reportedly be offered up to Amazon Prime subscribers around the world free of charge (well, minus the $99 annual Prime fee). It is estimated that Amazon has around 60 million Prime subscribers worldwide.
The deal helps Amazon to distinguish its media offering from competitors like Netflix and Hulu that have largely avoided live sports up to this point.
Everything else about the deal is said to be similar to what Twitter had in place a year ago. CBS and NBC, for example, will each be allowed to broadcast five games. Amazon, meanwhile, will stream the networks’ coverage and even be able to sell a handful of ad slot during the games (likely to promote its other products like Amazon Echo or content like The Grand Tour).
Lead image courtesy Rick Osentoski, Associated Press