Amazon Pays $50 Million to Stream 10 Thursday Night NFL Games This Season

Twitter paid $10 million for the rights last year, but viewership was low

Amazon Jeff Bezos
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The National Football League became the latest entity to move on from Twitter, as it has reached a deal with Amazon to stream several Thursday night games for the upcoming season, the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday. And while Twitter paid $10 million for those rights, Amazon’s price jumped five-fold, as it paid $50 million for essentially the same package of games, the Journal reported.

Amazon will have largely the same arrangement last year’s Thursday streaming partner, Twitter, did. It will simulcast 10 Thursday night broadcasts, five each from CBS and NBC — including their ads — for subscribers of its Amazon Prime Video streaming service. The e-commerce turned media giant will also have a few ad slots per game, which it can sell to advertisers or use to promote its services.

Twitter’s streams reeled in a modest 265,000 viewers on an average minute basis, according to SportsBusinessDaily (CBS and NBC averaged nearly 16 million), but it reached an audience that was younger and substantially more international — 25 percent of Twitter viewers were out of the country — than the NFL’s terrestrial broadcasts.

But while Twitter’s streams were free, Amazon’s NFL broadcasts will only be available to paid subscribers of Amazon Prime, who pay $99 a year for two-day shipping and a library of movies, music and original TV shows, including “Transparent” and “Mozart in the Jungle.” Analysts have estimated Amazon has more than 60 million Prime subscribers worldwide.