How Amazon Is Tackling Exclusive Rights to Thursday Night Football
As key milestones wrap up leading into the 2022 NFL season, we prepare for the next iteration of live sports coverage and what that means for our clients. Amazon kicks off their 11-year partnership with the NFL on September 15th with AFC West division rivals, Kansas City Chiefs and Los Angeles Chargers.
Amazon secured exclusive rights to Thursday Night Football (TNF) for the next 11 years (2022-2033). Games will begin streaming starting September 15th on both Amazon Prime and Twitch, featuring one pre-season game and 15 regular season games with 30 of the 32 NFL teams featured. Football fans will need a paid Prime account or access to the Twitch platform to watch, except for home team games that will also be televised locally. Amazon is also working on out-of-home (OOH) deals to ensure TNF can be watched in bars and restaurants nationwide.
Amazon is committed to making Thursday night as entertaining as possible. They will have on-site production for each game that will include pre, in, and post-game streams. They’ve recruited top tier talent including Sunday Night Football’s lead Executive Producer Fred Gaudelli, legendary announcer Al Michaels, and Emmy award-winning sports analyst, Kirk Herbstriet. In addition, Amazon plans to have guest appearances throughout the season and will continue to recruit talent, including sideline anchors.
Advertising Opportunity Highlights
Amazon is structuring 2022 TNF buys like traditional linear, but with some great extensions:
Advertisers and agencies will have options to purchase full season, multiple units, single games, pre-game—or whichever fits their budget best.
2022 deals can be guaranteed on P2+, P18-49, or P25-54.
While targeting will be limited in the early days of Amazon TNF, Amazon’s first-party data can be used to remarket viewers that saw your ad air in TNF. This will enable continued interaction and engagement with that viewer through sequential advertising and creative remarketing. And help drive greater consideration and action, too!
2022 will be a test run for Amazon, with hopes to create a more digital-like offering that includes options such as further in-depth targeting.
Amazon projects 2022 TNF could add double-digit incremental reach over linear NFL viewership and +8% incremental reach over linear Primetime viewership. As Pay TV HHs continue to decline, viewers are changing the way they watch TV in favor of streaming TV options. Amazon sees an opportunity to help advertisers reach audiences at scale with Prime Video and Twitch (source: NMI, Sept-Dec 2020, A18+).
We anxiously await this launch and similar partnerships to follow. While key elements to effective paid media campaigns and measurement are not yet accessible, we have no doubt that this will evolve much like our industry has through the years.