Amazon has been a dominant force in the world of digital video streaming, with a Prime Video service that boasts a vast library of content, solid search functionality, and a user experience that meshes well with mobile devices. Amazon is looking to take this dominance to another level, however, by potentially making a bid for the NFL’s Thursday Night Football Package.
Last week, Amazon announced a $50 million deal with the NFL to stream Thursday Night Football games. The company has reportedly been courting many players to sign up for its Prime Video service. With its popularity, Amazon is a great fit for the NFL, but NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said that there are no plans to change how the Thursday games are broadcast.
If you’re a football fan, you know that Thursday night games are a big deal. Even a casual football fan knows that Thursday night games are a big deal. So imagine if the most valuable player in the NFL was competing against the most valuable team in the NFL, and that game wasn’t on a Sunday, but on a Thursday.Amazon is stepping up its efforts to enter the world of sports programming. After sporadic live broadcasts in recent years, the online retailer and streaming giant have struck a deal to secure exclusive rights to Thursday Night Football NFL starting in 2022. This could be an important step in bringing sports to the streaming world. Jeff Bezos and company are thinking big and considering NFL Hall of Fame favorite Peyton Manning.
In early May, the NFL announced a new deal in which Amazon will stream Thursday Night Footballgames on Amazon. While this deal is far from the first digital streaming deal, it is the most significant new step in the world of digital sports broadcasting. Finally, more and more fans are turning to smart devices that may not have the networking capabilities of other devices.
Starting in 2022, Thursday night games will be streamed on Amazon’s apps, websites and devices. The most fascinating aspect of their new plan, however, is not so much how they bring television into the Internet age, but how they harness the power of the Internet to not only show video, but also provide quick access to other information not possible on a normal television show.
Through the new media distribution agreements, the NFL has expanded its digital presence to reach a wider audience and better enabled its media partners to innovate their products and offer interactive elements such as stats/data, chat and integrated social channels as part of their digital presentations, according to NFL.com.
But sports broadcasting is not a simple science. Sure, the presentation and access to stats and information is helpful, but TV stations are still by far the biggest sellers, and Amazon is hoping to usher in a new era in sports.
NFL legend Peyton Manning during the College Bowl | Greg Gayne/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank
Amazon doesn’t want to be a pariah. They want to be as legitimate as Fox, NBC, CBS and ESPN/ABC. Thus they attack the established legends of the football broadcaster in the hope that this will give them legitimacy. The New York Post writes that Amazon has reached out to legendary TV presenter Al Michaels and Ian Eagle for comment. But when it comes to analytics, they hope to attract one of the most coveted names in the business: Peyton Manning.
Manning is no stranger to television. After all, he was the host ofSNLand appeared in hundreds of commercials when he was still acting. During his retirement, he is constantly working on new content forESPN. Manning is regularly at games, but he avoids any factual analysis. From speculation that he won’t scold his late brother and former teammates to the possibility that he doesn’t care about comments during the game, Manning isn’t ready to take a step forward.
For example, the New York Post reports that Amazon is willing to pay something like Tony Romo $180 million over ten years to CBS to lure the two-time Super Bowl winner to the booth.
Manning is one of the key players on ESPN’s streaming platform. He does tape analysis on theDetailprogram and hosts the popularPeyton’s Places documentary series on football. But if that’s what Manning is interested in, it may be hard to rope him into a more hands-on role at the broadcaster. But if the former QB wants to expand his brand, a nine-figure contract like Romo’s could play a big role.
Time will tell if Manning will accept Bezos’ offer. But this whole saga shows the demand for the former Bronco and what studios are willing to do to get such a promising prospect.
COMPARED TO: Peyton Manning turned a heartbreaking defeat into an intimate moment with Ray Lewis
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