E-commerce leader Amazon.com, Inc.
The company has been breaking records related to its "Thursday Night Football" broadcasts for the National Football League.
With the success of the NFL media rights over the past two seasons, Amazon is ready to expand its sports offerings.
What Happened: Amazon has set several records during the 2023 NFL season and is one of several media companies enjoying strong viewership for football games during the season.
Amazon landed the rights to "Thursday Night Football" beginning with the 2022 season and pays a reported $1 billion annually. The games have contributed to people signing up for Amazon Prime, the company's annual membership that includes free shipping and perks like Prime Video.
After the success of streaming NFL games, Amazon now has its eyes on landing rights to National Basketball Association games, according to a report from Front Office Sports.
The report said Amazon would like to create an exclusive night of NBA games to stream, similar to the "Thursday Night Football" broadcast of a primetime NFL matchup. Sources say Amazon could be looking at Tuesday or Thursday night for the NBA rights.
Walt Disney Co
The NBA could be looking to appeal to a younger audience with more focus on streaming rights. The league could also award deals with up to five media partners, expanding the partnerships and potentially boosting its overall revenue.
Why It's Important: The success of "Thursday Night Football" could serve as a proof metric for the NBA when selecting a streaming partner. The report from Front Office Sports said NBA commissioner Adam Silver previously said he was "fascinated" by the job that Amazon had done with the NFL rights.
Jay Marine, head of sports for Amazon, said earlier this year the company would be "aggressive," but "rational" in the pursuit of other sports media rights deals.
"Sports are unique; they are uniquely valuable. Because of that, they've also been uniquely expensive. Having said that, they can do things that other things can't because it's a guaranteed audience," Marine said.
Amazon could also have an inside lead after previously landing the rights to stream NBA games in Brazil.
"Thursday Night Football" has been successful in the early part of the 2023 NFL season. Amazon is averaging 12.91 million viewers through the first six weeks of the NFL season, which is up 25% from the same time period of the 2022 NFL season, as shared by Sports Media Watch.
All six "Thursday Night Football" games aired by Amazon have posted double-digit increases in viewership compared to the prior year.
Here's a look at the 2023 NFL "Thursday Night Football" games viewership, with 2022 viewership in parentheses for the comparable week. The first week of the NFL season had its opening game air on NBC.
Week 2: 15.1 million (13.0 million)
Week 3: 13.9 million (11.0 million)
Week 4: 13.5 million (11.7 million)
Week 5: 11.7 million (9.7 million)
Week 6: 13.8 million (8.8 million)
Week 7: 9.8 million (7.8 million)
Amazon will continue to stream the "Thursday Night Football" games for the remainder of the 2023 NFL season and will also air the first-ever NFL game being played on Black Friday, the traditional shopping day the day after Thanksgiving.
On Friday, Nov. 24, 2023, Amazon will broadcast the Miami Dolphins and New York Jets game at 3 p.m. ET for free for fans on the Amazon website or the Prime Video app.
While the game will be aired for free, it could see Amazon increase its advertising for sign-ups of Prime for the rest of the 2023 season or for Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals during an already eventful holiday weekend.