The NFL and Amazon are reportedly nearing a deal to give Prime Video rights to streaming many games exclusively. The Wall Street Journal reported the news Wednesday, sharing that a deal could be announced as soon as next week.
The deal would not begin until after the 2021-2022 season, according to sources for WSJ. Amazon would get exclusive streaming rights to a “significant number” of Thursday night games while Fox, CBS, NBC, and ESPN would keep deals in place for Sunday and Monday night games. Those deals would go into effect after the 2022-2023 season.
News of the NFL making an agreement with a streamer isn’t surprising. Last year, we reported that Amazon, Apple, and Google were all interested in scoring rights to games. With a deal already in place to stream select Thursday games, Amazon was a strong contender in the fight for exclusive rights to more games.
How does the NFL feel about making a move toward streaming?
“We are made for broadcast TV, but we are open to streaming,” one NFL power-broker told Peter King of NBC Sports last year. “It’s the next big thing, and the tech companies want to be involved in our game. They should. We’re the only lock money-maker in sports.”
WSJ reported that a deal with Amazon made sense for the League, as broadcasters have been taking a loss on Thursday games due to the high price tag of carrying the programming and lower ratings than Sunday and Monday events.
As for the Sunday Ticket package, WSJ reports that the NFL is not renegotiating at this time. DirecTV will continue to have Sunday Ticket through the 2022 season.