Amazon Makes Its Highly Anticipated Thursday Night Football Debut
New way to watch offers multiple-language feeds, pregame show designed to get you buying
Tonight, Thursday Night Football makes its highly anticipated debut on Amazon Prime Video. This season, the digital-media platform will stream a total of 11 NFL games to the Amazon Prime Video app, which is available on smart TVs, game consoles, set-top boxes, mobile phones, and connected devices like Amazon Fire TV. It all begins with tonight’s Bears-Packers game (8:25 p.m. ET), and the company has lined up a collection of language feeds, its own pregame show, and a flock of features unique to the Alexa.
Amazon is expected, by many, to be a major player in sports-rights battles to come, and, although the Thursday Night Football offering is not an exclusive broadcast window (games will still air on linear television on CBS and NBC), this could potentially be a dramatic first step for a company that may line up alongside Facebook, Google, and Twitter to battle traditional-media companies for big-league sports rights when the next round of U.S.-rights deals emerge at the start of the next decade.
With Thursday Night Football streaming to more than 200 countries through Prime Video, Amazon is offering a modest collection of alternative language feeds for its international audience. To start, the company will be offering feeds in UK English, Spanish, and Brazilian Portuguese, in addition to the standard CBS production being distributed in the U.S.
The visual of each feed will be the same, but each “channel” will have its own play-by-play commentator and analyst. To access the feature, users simply select the audio track of their choosing within the Amazon Prime Video player on the device they are using.
Prior to kickoff, Amazon will also produce its own pregame show, and this is where things get truly “Amazon.” The Amazon Thursday Night Football Kickoff Show is being described as a “shoppable live-stream show” that will air on the Amazon Prime Video app, as well as the Amazon home page. On the show, Australian celebrity chef Curtis Stone and former NFL player Tiki Barber will host segments around planning the ultimate tailgating party. The show is meant to get viewers at home to purchase items like officially licensed team apparel, housewares, grilling equipment, and more through their Amazon Prime accounts.
Amazon also launched the Alexa NFL Trivia game on Sept. 19. The company will offer fans five new trivia questions every day through Christmas Day. The questions are hosted by Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch.