Fans of the NFL should prepare for more playoff games to be streamed.
Amazon Prime Video, which broadcasts “Thursday Night Football,” will exclusively stream its first-ever playoff game next season, according to The Wall Street Journal.
According to the report, Amazon was offered a playoff game this season but passed on the opportunity.
Amazon Prime Video became the “Thursday Night Football” broadcaster during the 2022 NFL season. This season, the NFL had its first-ever streaming-only playoff game with NBC’s Peacock getting the wild-card matchup between the Miami Dolphins and the Kansas City Chiefs.
NBCUniversal sought to keep the playoff game for next year, but Amazon was able to claim the game due to a clause as part of its “Thursday Night Football” deal, according to the WSJ.
The NFL’s decision to stream the playoff game set off a firestorm of criticism from those who felt that having to pay for an extra service to watch the playoffs was a step too far.
Roger Goodell was asked this week about the league’s decision, and the NFL commissioner cited the media landscape for the decision.
“Consumers are moving off of paid television services and going into digital streaming services and platforms. And we as the NFL have to be able to reach our fans there,” Goodell said in part. “One of the most positive things about the Peacock game was not just the fact that it outdrew the broadcast audience a year earlier in the same window.
“But it also reduced our average age of the audience by almost ten years,” Goodell added after saying the Peacock stream didn’t have any technical difficulties. “So, youth audiences are going to those platforms and those apps, and we have to make sure our content is there. We still have over 90% of our games on free television. No other league, no other sport, comes close to that.”
When asked if he could see a scenario where the NFL would stream the Super Bowl, Goodell balked.
“Certainly not in my time,” Goodell said. “I still believe, and even on some of the pay services … one of the secrets of our success is we are really committed to broadcast television. As I said, 90% of our games are broadcast-free, over-the-air television. I think it’s the reason why you will see over 200 million people watch this game here in the United States. Because it’s on broadcast television and the broadest possible platform.”
The NFL season will wrap up Sunday when the San Francisco 49ers and the Chiefs square off in the Super Bowl.