Amazon will stream 10 Thursday Night Football games this season in the latest brilliant move from the company.
Amazon is about to take over the world. What once started as a company that sold books has quickly become an all-encompassing e-commerce giant with no peer. It’s been a big year already for Amazon who became the first streaming site to win an Oscar for Manchester by the Sea, has opened up stores, offered new programs like Amazon Fresh, Cash, Music Unlimited and Prime Now, among other cutting-edge features. The biggest news so far may be the NFL coming to Amazon Prime later this year.
Amazon will be streaming 10 NFL games on Thursday night this season after paying $50 million and reportedly beat bids from Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. The games will be free for Amazon Prime members, which practically pays for itself, and fans will be able to watch the games via their phone, tablet, computer and smart TV’s.
While Thursday Night Football has come under fire for the hideous Color Rush uniforms and propensity to have sloppily played games, having the NFL shield on their service is a no-brainer for Amazon. Critics of the move will say Amazon is overpaying for the streaming rights, but this is a drop in the bucket for one of the biggest business in the world.
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It’s easy to have sticker shock, but this is an investment that will allow for Amazon to promote their products and services during the games. Plus, this allows Amazon to promote their content like The Man in the High Castle, Transparent, Catastrophe, Mozart in the Jungle and any other new original movies and shows coming to Amazon Prime Video.
It’ll also result in a massive increase in people downloading the Amazon Video app to watch the stream. When Twitter was the streaming home for Thursday Night Football last year, people lauded the ease of access to the game. They could reach the game from the palm of their hand. If anyone was skeptical about how to access Amazon’s stream, they should relax knowing it’ll be just as easy as accessing Twitter. The catch is it won’t be free like Twitter was.
Sometimes investments are worthwhile even if they don’t result in a profit. Being in business with the NFL is good for business. Attracting more people to your service where you can then promote an endless supply of products and services, that’s even better for business.
I see no downside in this deal for Amazon and I wonder if it’ll be the start of more live events being streamed there. Different sports leagues have deals in place already, but just imagine if Amazon could be the streaming home for MLB, NBA, college sports, soccer and NASCAR. This could also prompt the company to consider adding live TV functionality for Prime members, like Hulu and YouTube are planning. That’s a big step up from a company that is no longer just a place to do online shopping.