Amazon’s Thursday Night Football deal kicks off early

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Amazon made history as the first all-digital streamer to acquire exclusive rights to the NFLs Thursday night football, and now the NFL has announced that Amazon will be streaming games faster than expected – starting with the 2022 season.

The earlier announcement of the NFL marked the beginning of Amazon’s exclusivity in 2023. Now Amazon will get its exclusive rights even faster and even longer thanks to a new 11-year contract that matches the other partners of the NFL, including CBS, NBC ( and Peacock) and Fox. . That means 2021 marks the last season of Fox broadcasts Thursday night football.

An important note: Amazon’s exclusivity does not extend to local markets. You should still be able to watch Thursday night football during an over-the-air broadcast if your team is playing, according to CNBC.

Amazon’s History Hosting Thursday night football actually started in 2017 when it handled the digital streaming of games while NBC and CBS handled the OTA broadcasts. Subsequent OTA broadcasts were handled by Fox.

The online retail giant also got exclusive access to some Saturday games in 2020. Before that, Amazon reportedly considered purchasing multiple Fox sports channels as a way to get into sports aggressively. Amazon’s current offering isn’t something to sneeze at, but it’s not hard to imagine a future where Amazon is streaming an even bigger NFL event, like the Super Bowl, for example.

If you now have a Thursday night football game and the team in your broadcast region is not involved, then watching through Amazon is the only way to go. While that may be annoying for those who don’t have a Prime account, it’s still probably better than dropping $ 50 for the NFL Game Pass, which is subject to brutal blackout periods that often make it feel like a waste of a subscription .