As reported in Variety, the live-streaming giant will launch a new “Black Friday” broadcast in 2023, streaming a new game on the day after Thanksgiving. The move will add more NFL football to a period that opens the nation’s critical holiday shopping season and expand the NFL beyond its usual annual Thanksgiving roosts on NBC, CBS and Fox.
Executives from Amazon and the NFL indicated the new game was baked into the recent 11-year deal the two sides struck that gave the digital titan sole rights to Thursday Night Football, starting with the current season. Amazon has moved aggressively to bolster its new property, enlisting top announcers like Al Michaels, and promoting the games widely via its shipping materials and online portal.
While many TV mainstays have faced ratings erosion, Thursday Night Football has secured a new foothold among sports fans, with more than 10 million people watching the games each week. Amazon’s efforts show that young fans want to watch sports, says Hans Schroeder, chief operating officer for NFL Media. and leagues need to move into digital realms in order to court them. “Those fans are there, and they want to watch sports,” he says.
The game will stream right at the start of what is widely considered to be the opening of a massive shopping season. Amazon believes the “Black Friday” game will help bring consumers to its e-commerce operations, though executives cautioned they didn’t expect to aggressively push football fans to start doing other kinds of business with Amazon.
“We will start with the consumer first,” says Marie Donoghue, vice president of global sports video for Amazon. “This is an opportunity to gift millions of fans with an extra NFL game on Black Friday.”
The NFL has played Friday games in the past, typically when Christmas falls on that day.