Amazon picks up rights for NFL Thursday Night Football from Fox
It was only a matter of time before Amazon gained exclusive rights to NFL Thursday Night Football.
Amazon signed a new 11-year, $1.2 billion deal with the NFL in March. Ben Fischer and John Ourand of the Sports Business Journal reported the deal was signed with the notion Amazon would get exclusive rights sooner, rather than later. Fox was reportedly fine with being released from its deal ahead of schedule, per Fischer and Ourand.
The exclusive package will begin at the start of the 2022 season, with Amazon officially taking over pull production of TNF games.
NFL Chief Media and Business Officer Brian Rolapp wrote a memo to the owners explaining the advantages of the partnership with Amazon:
“The decision to accelerate the launch of ‘TNF’ on Amazon for the 2022 season creates incremental economic and strategic value for the league and our fans,” Rolapp said, via the Sports Business Journal.
This is just the latest example of Amazon’s increasing influence in the NFL media landscape.
Amazon has carried NFL games since 2017, notably on streaming services. Customers with Amazon Prime were slated to get special access to certain games in the coming years. The new package also stipulates Thursday night games will be “available on local broadcast stations of participating teams,” per Fischer and Ourand. NFL Network will still carry seven games in the non-Thursday window.
The NFL has been very aggressive in extending and renewing media rights packages with all its major network partners. Soon, Amazon will have full discretion regarding the production and operation of Thursday Night Football.