Game changer for Amazon as it gazumps Twitter for Thursday night NFL live streaming rights

Game changer for Amazon as it gazumps Twitter for Thursday night NFL live-streaming rights

The NFL has followed up on its live streaming trial with Twitter by selling the streaming rights to Amazon Prime for the live broadcast of matches later in the year.

A coup for Amazon, the decision gives it a head start over the likes of Facebook, Twitter and YouTube which had also been angling for the prize. Subscribers of Amazon’s premium service will be able to view the games as part of their package.

Under the terms of the deal, Amazon will screen NBC and CBS broadcast footage of the events, including the networks' own ads, but will also have the opportunity to sell a few ads of its own for each game. Both networks will also be allowed to stream the content via their own websites and Verizon will also feed matches to its own wireless subscribers.

Amazon’s first major foray into sport is nevertheless being heralded as a game changer, despite Twitter’s audiences reaching up to 3.1m – versus the 15.8m pulled in by CBS and NBC.

For Twitter, however, it is a bitter blow after the micro-blogging service vowed to partner with the NFL 'in a bigger way' just one month ago.

NFL media executive Brian Rolapp said: “Reach is a focus of ours. I think Amazon has been able to demonstrate, in everything that they do, massive scale,” he said. “I don’t think this is limiting the reach. I think this is expanding the reach.”

This content hasn’t come cheap however, with Amazon paying $50m to screen the 10 games, significantly more than the $10m Twitter paid last season.

John Glenday

John Glenday is responsible for compiling The Drum's daily morning bulletin and ensuring that overnight breaking news is covered while you're still brushing your teeth. Can also make a mean cup of tea.

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