Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Amazon Prime Video closing in on exclusive rights to Thursday Night Football

Mar 2, 2021 at 6:53 AM--

Sports Business Journal recently reported that Disney and the NFL reached an agreement on a new media rights deal that will renew Monday Night Football and return ABC to the Super Bowl rotation of broadcast networks in the coming years. It looks like there might be an even bigger shake-up in the works.

This past season, the Week 16 broadcast between the San Francisco 49ers and Arizona Cardinals was exclusively on Amazon Prime Video, and the experience received mixed reviews. It was also made available for free on Twitch, giving viewers an additional option in finding a way to watch the game. However, those were the only options for fans outside the Bay Area, where a local broadcast was allowed.

While some innovations, like the ability to switch between announcing teams, were welcome additions, some fans complained about quality issues, and others noticed the lack of a rewind or pause feature. That meant if you missed a play, you were out of luck.

The Sports Business Journal also reported that Thursday Night Football would move from Fox to Amazon Prime Video and NFL Network. While that gives some viewers an alternative — NFL Network — to the streaming platform, The Streamable reports that only "a select number of games" would air on the league's official broadcast channel.

Amazon Prime Video was already streaming Thursday Night Football games as a simulcast partner. An exclusive deal would take Fox and any broadcast network other than NFL Network out of the picture. According to the New York Post, if Amazon wins the exclusive rights, it will likely hire a separate production team.

The NFL continues its broadcast rights negotiations, which will help shape this year's salary cap and future salary caps.

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