HomeAmerican FootballAmazon Prime Video secures exclusive streaming rights for NFL Wildcard Playoff game next season

Amazon Prime Video secures exclusive streaming rights for NFL Wildcard Playoff game next season

Amazon Prime Video secures exclusive streaming rights for NFL Wildcard Playoff game next season

Amazon Prime Video is set to exclusively stream one of the National Football League’s (NFL) wildcard playoff round games next season, as reported by the Wall Street Journal.

The deal, originally outlined with the streaming service, included an option for Amazon Prime to acquire the rights to a playoff game if certain viewership targets were met during its Thursday night broadcasts. Amazon apparently hit those targets this year but opted not to exercise the option, which was subsequently picked up by NBC’s Peacock streaming service for an exclusive broadcast.

NBC reportedly paid a hefty sum of US$110 million for this one-off deal, featuring the match-up between Kansas City Chiefs and Miami Dolphins, which aired on the media giant’s local affiliates in both teams’ respective markets.

The game drew an impressive 28 million viewers, marking it as the biggest live-streaming event ever in the US. Antenna, a subscription tracking specialist, later reported that Peacock gained 2.8 million sign-ups as a direct result of broadcasting the game.

Although Amazon opted out of the playoff option for the current season, they did air the NFL’s first-ever Black Friday game on Prime Video. The game averaged 9.61 million viewers, though it ranked among Amazon’s least-watched broadcasts during the 2023 campaign.

In line with the NFL’s goal to engage younger audiences on digital platforms, the league has allowed its broadcast partners to experiment with alternative presentations. Paramount’s Nickelodeon network presented its own broadcast of this year’s Super Bowl for the first time, Disney offered a Toy Story-themed simulcast of a game earlier in the season and ESPN introduced the ‘Manning-cast’ as an alternate feed for its Monday night NFL coverage.

Looking ahead, Hans Schroeder, NFL’s executive vice president of media distribution, hinted at the possibility of selling off rights to alternative broadcasts separately in the future.

“You’ll see us do more alt-broadcasts with different types of experiences – we had Toy Story,” Schroeder explained.

“What those different experiences could look like, maybe that’s a whole separate package of rights in the future that’s not even sold to our named partner, they’re sold to a different partner, that experience.”

Schroeder also commended Genius Sports’ BetVision streaming software, which integrates statistics and betting odds within a live game broadcast. FanDuel recently reached a deal to incorporate this product into its in-app NFL streams, showcasing the league’s commitment to enhancing the fan experience.

“The work those teams did to sort of hit that target I think was a really significant development, to get that out now widely in the marketplace,” Schroeder added.

“It’s been great year one; can’t wait to see it in year two.”

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