For the NFL, streaming is not just the future, it is the present.
Thursday Night Football is exclusively on Amazon Prime and now Sunday Ticket will be on YouTube TV.
One executive had something to say about the 2022 shift of Thursday Night Football from one of the networks he runs to Amazon.
Fox CEO Lachlan Murdoch has said that the switch was a disaster.
Murdoch argued that owners shouldn’t be happy with the product they got while streaming games on Thursday. He said, “If I’m an NFL owner, that’s a disaster for me.”
It’s not really shocking to see a CEO of a cable company saying that streaming has been a disaster. There is an intense competition between traditional media and streaming.
Amazon is paying roughly $67 million per game, or about $1 billion annually to show Thursday Night Football. That is a major win for the owners.
However, the games last season were hard to ignore as they were really bad almost every week.
Al Michaels, who is a legendary broadcaster, clearly was unhappy with the quality of play.
“I think I’m to the point in my life and career, having watched sports since I was 6 years old, I feel what the crowd feels. The Denver–Indianapolis game [in] Week 4 was a dreadful game. No other way to describe it,” Michaels said.
“No touchdowns. In fact, at one point during the game, I said to [analyst] Kirk [Herbstreit], ‘Is it possible this game could be so bad that it’s actually good?’ He’d never heard that from a partner and went, ‘No!’”
Michaels seems more excited about the slate of games to open the 2023 season.
“Absolutely!” Michaels said. “Love the way we come out of the gate. Three ‘A’ grade games. Two Aaron Rodgers games. Baltimore–Cincinnati, another good one. League did us a solid. I was raring to go the minute I saw the whole slate. Already thinking of storylines for each game, of which there is no shortage.”
Like it or not, streaming isn’t going anywhere.
The NFL is diving headfirst into streaming, agreeing to exclusively stream a Wild Card game on NBC’s streaming service, Peacock. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed, but The Wall Street Journal reported that it’s a one-year deal with the league receiving approximately $110 million.
Under the NFL’s 11-year contract with NBCUniversal that began this season, Peacock has an exclusive regular-season game. That will be on Dec. 23 when the Buffalo Bills face the Los Angeles Chargers in prime time.
The future is here.
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