If Al Michaels and Kirk Herbstreit aren’t your thing, then perhaps Dude Perfect will do.
Dude Perfect — a viral sports-comedy group — will broadcast a series of Thursday Night Football games this season on Amazon Prime Video, which will air TNF exclusively.
This will be one of several alternate streaming feeds this season that runs opposite the main broadcast with Michaels and Herbstreit. Think the ManningCast but with guys known for trick shots and challenges.
“It was essential we differentiated ourselves,” Amazon Vice President of Global Sports Video Marie Donoghue told the Wall Street Journal.
Tyler Toney, one of the five Dude Perfect members, said the group would send one of its members to the sidelines while the rest of the cast performs stunts in a Texas studio.
And the group already has ideas for its first broadcast. Toney calls it the “Dunk Tank Drive,” in which two Dudes sit in opposite dunk tanks, predict the next play, and “whoever gets it correct gets to throw a ball at the opposing guy’s target to try and dunk him.”
Hard to see Michaels and Herbstreit topping that.
Amazon hopes the group’s popularity among young online users will bring a new audience to the NFL product.
Thursday Night Football stands to lose older viewers this season. The average NFL viewer is over 50 years old — and people over 65 don’t know what an Amazon Prime Video is. They’d rather watch re-airs of “Gunsmoke” than learn how to stream a football game.
So the NFL needs to replace potentially lost viewers with younger fans, many of whom follow games via social media. Dude Perfect helps in that regard.
On YouTube, Dude Perfect has 58 million subscribers, second only to WWE among sports channels.
Amazon says Dude Perfect will not appear each week but throughout the season. The service will air other alternate feeds during the weeks the group is off. A feed built around Pat McAfee, another YouTube star, has been discussed.
“Dude Perfect is young, fun and interactive,” Donoghue concludes.
Smart move by Amazon.