NFL Thursday night football - the great streaming experiment

I am a huge NFL fan, but TNF is definitely my least watched game each week. If the Titans aren’t playing, I almost never tune in.

However, I have been fascinated by how that game has been used by streaming sites recently.

  1. In 2015, the Bills-Jaguars London game was streamed for free on Yahoo.
  2. In 2016, Twitter streamed 10 of the TNF games for free. (They paid $10 million for the rights)
  3. This year, Amazon Prime bought the rights to the digital package, and they are streaming 11 games. You do have to be an Amazon Prime subscriber to see the games, which started last night. (They paid $50 million for the rights)

Twitter averaged 266,000 viewers at any given time last year, which is still small compared to the 15 million that normally watch the games on TV.

I have Sling, and while it has the NFL network, I was blocked from watching the game because of Amazon’s streaming rights (had a static screen explaining it during the whole game). I did watch part of the game on Amazon Prime, and it didn’t have any issues.

This game was also on CBS, so I could have watched it in on my Tablo or antenna as well.

I do like that the NFL is looking into other sources for presenting games to fans. I do hope these companies don’t go crazy buying the rights though (like Amazon paying 5 times more than Twitter). If we start having to pay for exclusive streams to games, it won’t go over well.


I’m hardly able to watch the Dallas Cowboys to the end of the season - somewhere along the line my family stops me from shouting at the TV and cursing at Jerry Jones. :slight_smile: ALthough it has to be harder for him to have had a dry spell as long as the Cowboys have had it.

I detest how they cut out l to air commercials, so if there ever was a 100% on-game feed, I’d pay for that. Guess it’ll be close to the cost of a stadium seat though, so that may make me reconsider. :wink: I do find watching at the stadium harder, since the view from the nosebleed sections isn’t that good, even with my binoculars.

On Amazon, I was talking to my buddy about that and how they seem clueless. They spend hundreds! of millions of dollars on Jeremy Clarkson and his reincarnation of “Top Gear”, only to have it completely miss the mark. We religiouly watched the BBC Top Gear programme, but only watched 2 episodes on Amazon, and we only watched one of the post-Clarkson Top Gear episodes with Chris-someone or other and that guy from Friends.

Amazon have so much money and are so little motivated by profits that they just completely distort the market for things like this.