Amazon is open to producing all Thursday night NFL games for its Prime Video streaming platform.
Amazon is aiming to become the National Football League’s exclusive producer of Thursday games starting in 2023. Nevertheless, the NFL may decide to keep certain games on the NFL Network and take less money from Amazon, according to sources familiar with the negotiations who spoke to CNBC.
Amazon is in talks to pay around $1 billion for an entire season’s worth of exclusive games outside of the local TV markets of the two teams playing, the sources said.
According to the report by CNBC, Amazon would be responsible for all the production costs and would still need to pay a local broadcaster to produce the game for home markets, as the NFL wants the Thursday night games to be broadcast on local TV in each of the participating teams’ home markets.
The NFL Network, which is available via expensive pay-TV bundles, has commitments to pay-TV distributors to carry a certain number of games exclusively. The Wall Street Journal, which previously reported Amazon’s interest, reported Wednesday that the NFL Network’s deals require it to broadcast five games exclusively.
With the NFL set to add an 18th week to the season, however, the league could conceivably give the NFL Network enough Saturday games and other fixtures to hit the cable network’s limits without dipping into Thursday, one of the sources who spoke to CNBC claimed.
The league is also considering proposals to simulcast Amazon’s Thursday games on the NFL Network or to split the games between Amazon and the NFL Network, according to the report.