DirectTV has made Amazon the first streaming service with an exclusive NFL broadcasting deal.
Amazon has signed a deal with DirecTV to air Thursday Night Football games in public venues over Amazon Prime Video.
“DirecTV, the satellite TV provider that has for years exclusively broadcast the NFL’s lucrative Sunday Ticket package, has struck a deal with Amazon Prime Video to air Thursday Night Football games in over 300,000 sports bars, restaurants, hotels, and other venues outside of homes,” says Axios.
The deal includes broadcasting 17 games, pregame, halftime, and postgame coverage to venues that have commercial accounts with DirecTV.
Why it’s important
The deal is yet another indicator of the power streaming services are going to have over the future of entertainment. Amazon Prime Video is the exclusive home of Thursday Night Football and the broadcasting deal permits venues to take advantage of that by streaming the games publicly.
“The deal gives fans the opportunity to watch the games, which are only available via streaming on Amazon Prime Video, in places outside of their homes that may not have smart TVs installed,” says Axios.
The first broadcast will be Thursday’s game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Houston Texans.
“Data suggests that at least 20% of viewers said they watched fall sports exclusively in venues outside of home in 2019,” says Axios.
Backing up a bit
As we reported yesterday, for the first time ever, Americans spent more time in July watching streaming content than cable content in July. “Streaming services have slowly been eating into cable’s market share over the last decade, but cable has remained strong. But this news suggests that the tide has turned.”
Amazon has been experimenting with various deals with the NFL since 2017. The companies signed an 11-year agreement in 2021 to add Amazon Prime as an exclusive media partner for Thursday Night Football until 2023, at a cost of $1 billion per year. The deal will not affect local broadcasts of the games, according to CNBC.
The NFL may also be open to negotiations this fall and offer similar agreements to another streaming service. “The NFL has yet to announce a new partner for Sunday Ticket, although Commissioner Roger Goodell said in July he expects the league will select a streaming service by the fall. Apple, Amazon, and Disney are all interested in holding the rights to Sunday Ticket,” says CNBC.