Amazon could be closer to getting a Black Friday NFL game, according to a report from NBC Sports’ Peter King. Per King’s report, during March’s owners’ meeting in Florida, the league’s owners passed a resolution that will allow the league to schedule two more teams for a second short-week game, which could open the door for a Black Friday game in the future. Currently, three games are scheduled on Thanksgiving Day; however, the Friday after Thanksgiving is seen by Amazon as a valuable day, with King reporting:
All sounds great … except the deal’s not done yet. It’s not as easy as it seems. There’s some opposition in the league about playing a game on Nov. 25, and there’s a decent chance the NFL will put off a Black Friday game on Amazon Prime till 2023. But it’s going to happen, I’m told, by next year at the latest.
Amazon has made a huge bid for the game. I’m told it’s between $70 million and $100 million for a Black Friday game, which would be added to the current package. (That’s in the same neighborhood of what network partners have paid for wild-card playoff games recently.) Seems like a win-win.
It was reported back in February that Amazon was in talks with the NFL to add a Black Friday Game, but the NFL wasn’t keen on the idea at the time. However, with King reporting that 2023 likely looks like the target year, the opposition may be amongst owners who aren’t as influential. King’s report notes that the opposition is “perhaps big enough to turn down a $2-million-plus-per-team found-money windfall.”
In March of 2021, the NFL reached a deal with Amazon for the league’s first-ever all-digital package. As part of that deal, Thursday Night Football games will exclusively stream on Prime Video beginning the upcoming season; however, since Thanksgiving Day games air on NBC, FOX, and CBS, Amazon won’t have a game to air on that Thursday.
If the tech behemoth is able to secure a Black Friday game then there are many possibilities for the company to tie in Black Friday deals with the football broadcast. However, due to antitrust exemptions, to protect high school and college football, the NFL is prohibited from airing night games on Friday, or Saturday before the second Saturday in December, which limits the timeslot for a Black Friday game.
As the NFL continues to grow its digital audience, it is only a matter of if, not when, a Black Friday game will become a regular fixture.