Amazon to Take Over NFL Thursday Night Football Sooner Than Expected

The NFL announced Monday that Amazon Prime Video is now set to take over as Thursday Night Football‘s exclusive home at the start of the 2022 season. When the NFL and Amazon agreed to a deal last month, Amazon was expected to begin exclusive distribution during the 2023 season. The press release did not state the reason for the change.

The update means Thursday Night Football will depart FOX after the upcoming 2021 season. In other words, those of you who don’t know how to get Amazon Prime on your big TV have one year to learn.

Amazon’s deal with the NFL is the most interesting story in sports media. Long-term, it’s smart. Short-term, expect hiccups and angry viewers.

Younger viewers find streaming easier than finding a TV channel. The older viewers find streaming inconvenient, if they even know what it is.

The NFL’s other broadcast partners — FOX, ABC/ESPN, CBS, and NBC — are background channels. Households already have them on before a game appears. To stream a show or game, viewers have to go out of their way to find it. It’s a process, a word that also describes TNF‘s transition from TV to digital.

All in all, by years two and three, I predict the NFL will be satisfied with Prime Video. Amazon has the resources and technology to make TNF a one-of-a-kind viewing experience.

Viewers better get used to the feel of streaming a game, by the way. This is just the start.

Written by Bobby Burack

Bobby Burack covers media, politics, and sports at OutKick.


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      • I agree, I’m also not doing Amazon. And some of the TNF matchups are not very good, it can be hit or miss. If there’s a TNF game I really want to see, I can go to a nearby sports bar. The other thing is since the season is going to 17 games, I won’t be too worried about missing some early season games. The games will now have much more meaning when we get closer to Halloween and beyond.

        And that’s a good point about DVR. When the weather is still nice during September, I will be out doing activities and DVR games and when I watch them later, skip thru the commercials and time outs. Sounds like that will not be an option when streaming.

  1. >The older viewers find streaming inconvenient, if they even know what it is.

    Bobby: Snide remark! I’m old enough to be your father, maybe even grandfather, and I know how to stream!

    As for recording games from Amazon, there are now a few expensive DVRs on the market. Should be more available and cheaper By 2022.

  2. My experience with streaming athletic events thus far extends to UFC on ESPN Plus, and it’s been a fucking shit show ever since they signed with ESPN. Lots of glitching and buffering. PPV used to be so great. Order fights from DIRECTV, could watch on multiple TVs in the pad. No logging in. No glitches. Great experience. My guess is theyll be similar problems. I’ve always thought Thursday night football sucked anyways, and it really diluted the Monday night football experience .

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