“Exclusive rights” to National Football League games is as expensive as it sounds.

Among the surprise winners within the recent NFL TV deal announcement is Amazon, paying $1 billion for the league’s Thursday Night Football (TNF) package.

The 11-year deal begins with the 2023 season.

So, how will Amazon, which paid $100 million to simulcast games with Fox and CBS, leverage that “win”?

A story published by the Motley Fool cited a few additional benefits: 

  • More games
  • Exclusive means exclusive 
  • Here for the long haul

Amazon’s existing TNF package, through 2022, is 11 games; in 2023 it’s 15, accounting for every scheduled Thursday game – no NFL Network participation in this package.

In fact, no competition at all. There will be no other way to catch the NFL on Thursday nights (except the two participating teams’ over-the-air stations). Exclusive? That also means Amazon will be able to sell every commercial slot.

 Marie Donoghue, Amazon’s vice president of global sports video, is eager for the challenge.

“Our relationship with the NFL has been a process. It is incredible trust the league has put in us which is largely based on our track record with them,” she said. “It is a game changer for us. We are really excited for the innovative technologies and ways to serve fans.” 

Amazon, according to fool.com, spent $11 billion on video and music content last year. Producing the 15 games is a big commitment in spending, but Amazon promises a “weekly slate of original NFL programming.”

With the creative minds and the access to audience research, that content is likely to provide plenty of interest from football fans and peripheral viewers as well.

With TNF games hovering just south of 15 million viewers, on average, Amazon has a rich resource to target.

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