Thursday Night Football has a new Internet home this year. Amazon reached an agreement with the National Football League for the rights to stream 10 Thursday Night Football games during the 2017 season. According to reports, Amazon paid $50 million for the rights, which is about five times more than the $10 million Twitter paid for the same rights to last season's Thursday games.
Amazon's deal also differs from Twitter's because only Amazon Prime members can stream these games. Last year, games shown on Twitter could be viewed by any logged-on Twitter user. This appears to be the first of many deals Amazon could reach to stream live sports to Prime members, something the company has alluded to since the end of last year. The rumor was that Amazon wasn't sure if live sports would come at an additional charge to Prime members or if they would stand alone in their own, separately priced package. The upcoming season's Thursday Night Football games are wrapped into a regular Prime membership, which costs $99 annually.
According to ESPN, Twitter couldn't compete with other high bidders for this season's games. Amazon eventually won over both Twitter and Facebook, both of which have been pouring money into live video efforts (particularly sports content) over the past year or so. Facebook recently signed a deal with Major League Soccer and Univision to livestream at least 22 regular season matches in 2017 and produce "Matchday Live" shows with complementary comments and analysis.