Amazon Prime Video in January will simulcast its second NFL Wild Card game, and while the final assignments have yet to be locked in, it’s likely that the streaming service will once again pair up with CBS in one of the two Sunday time slots.
While the playoff schedule won’t be finalized until the conclusion of the Week 18 games on Jan. 9, Amazon and NFL sources confirmed that the streamer’s assignment is expected to sync up with the second day of the newly expanded Wild Card weekend. Last season, Amazon streamed the Saints’ 21-9 victory over the Bears, a game that was broadcast over-the-air by CBS and presented in a special kids-friendly format via the network’s cable sibling, Nickelodeon.
New Orleans’ win averaged 30.7 million viewers and a 16.4 household rating, with 28.6 million fans tuning in via CBS and 2.1 million plugged into the Nickelodeon production. Amazon does not make a habit of disclosing its streaming deliveries; the last time the company offered up a full reckoning of its NFL performance was back in 2018, when its Thursday Night Football sidecar package drew an average-minute audience of 500,000 per game.
As was the case last season, CBS and NBC will air two Wild Card broadcasts, while Fox and ESPN/ABC will each carry a single game. The Disney nets, which enjoy a 50-year brand association with Monday night NFL action, are angling for the new weeknight slot that was first announced last month.
Under the new Wild Card weekend structure, two games will air on Saturday, Jan. 15, followed by a Sunday triple header and a standalone Monday night offering.
Amazon’s confirmation that it will stream another playoff game comes as it begins suiting up for its fifth season of Thursday Night Football. Prime Video will kick off its coverage with Fox this week, when Matthew Stafford’s 3-1 Rams travel to Lumen Field to take on Russell Wilson and the 2-2 Seahawks.
In May, the tech giant sped up its takeover bid of the Thursday night NFL slate, cementing an extension that will see it begin streaming 15 games starting in the fall of 2022. Two months earlier, Amazon inked a deal valued at more than $1 billion per year to serve as the home of Thursday Night Football, carving out a niche for itself as the league’s first-ever exclusive over-the-top package.
As Amazon begins prepping for its comprehensive NFL slate to kick in, it has brought in a veteran sports sales hand to help marshal its in-game inventory. Joining Amazon from Disney is Danielle Carney, who put in more than a dozen years as an ESPN sales exec, a run that included a VP post in the company’s multimedia sales unit. Carney most recently served as a senior VP of ad sales in Disney’s Media and Entertainment Distribution division.
As reported by the New York Post’s Andrew Marchand this summer, Amazon is looking to bring in NBC as its Thursday Night Football production partner. In addition to benefitting from the steady hand of Sunday Night Football maestro Fred Gaudelli, a roster of familiar NBC faces in the production truck could help Amazon lure Al Michaels to its booth once his contract with the network expires after the Super Bowl LVI broadcast on Feb. 13.