Goodbye, Twitter. Hello, Amazon.

NFL official’s meeting last month in Arizona was the perfect chance for NFL media executives to announce their new partner for Thursday Night Football. Unfortunately, the chance didn’t arise since the Oakland Raiders scuttle dominated the meeting.

Finally, after lengthy meetings and negotiations in the presence of bleary-eyed executives and the league’s digital committee chair, New England Patriots owner Jonathan Kraft and Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder, the deal was sealed.

The partnership is to last one year with Amazon paying $50 million for the rights – roughly higher than Twitter’s $40 million.

Here are the top 5 things you need to know about the deal:

  1. The reason for choosing Amazon
    The NFL league wanted to include a variety media companies to sample its programming. They wanted a big bidder base for the future when they take their media rights to the market in 2021 and 2022. But who will be the next in line after Twitter and Amazon? The league’s digital committee saw Amazon as a powerful video platform with a record of delivering eminent quality videos.
  2. Why Amazon went for NFL
    Amazon has been channeling more investments into its video platform to expand its base – adding to its 60 million already acquired Prime customers. As a sweetener, they hired DeLorenzo to lead their sports department. Partnering with the NFL allows Amazon to grow their Prime members and give more value to those elite customers as well.
  3. Did Amazon bid alone?
    Some digital companies such as Facebook, Google, Twitter, and YouTube were in the bidding too. Although, those that already had some streaming rights such as the CBS, NBC and the NFL were kept from bidding. Surprisingly, BAMTech and Turner Sports, two of the most active digital companies, were busy with the UEFA Champions League rights and did not bid.
  4. Why the NFL allowed Amazon to put these games behind a paywall
    Only Amazon prime customers who pay $99 annually will have access to these games. The NFL noted that they are going after an incremental reach instead of their usual “absolute” reach. This change pairs with the shifting technology in the sports industry where people prefer digital video streaming.
  1. Amazon’s ads
    Amazon stressed they will ensure they deliver high-quality videos before they focus on the innovative advertising and sales strategies.


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