Amazon kicks off Thursday Night Football
The Future. Amazon Prime’s first run at Thursday Night Football was, by all accounts, a win for the platform. Keeping mostly to the typical playbook but adding a few tech-enabled features right on the service, it may be the biggest bet that the future of pro sports is streaming — a future every streamer is already training for.
The usual plays
…but in a new way, reports The Verge. Last Thursday’s game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Los Angeles Chargers went off without much of a hitch.
- Commentary from the legendary Al Michaels, but also alternative commentary from talent like Dude Perfect.
- A “Prime Stories” feature that details player narrative going into the game.
- An “X-Ray” menu that shows player stats and bios, instant game replays, and info on plays.
- A second stream with “All-22” view — a bird’s eye angle to see how players move on the field.
Oh, and there were a lot of Amazon ads featuring everything from the high-profile The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, the new Sylvester Stallone-starrer Samaritan, and the Audible service.
The stream team
Last week’s game was a big deal for Amazon. It was the first time the e-commerce giant streamed a game exclusively and was the kickoff of its $1 billion per year deal with the NFL.
It told advertisers (for all the slots that weren’t for Amazon products) that it expected 12.5 million viewers for the game — about as many people that tuned in for the first episode of House of the Dragon. But we won’t know actual viewership for a while… if ever.