June 18, 2024

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NFL Black Friday game Jets vs Dolphins on Amazon Prime, not on TV

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Jacob Kupferman | Getty Images

The Miami Dolphins and the New York Jets face off in the National Football League’s first ever Black Friday game this week — but it’s not going to be the usual broadcast or cable offering. The game will stream exclusively on Amazon’s Prime Video.

The NFL’s decision to start a new Thanksgiving tradition with a streaming platform instead of a broadcast or cable channel is yet another indicator of trouble for linear, or traditional, TV, which has suffered from slumping ad revenue and customers cutting the cable cord.

The Black Friday matchup is an expansion of Amazon’s “Thursday Night Football” deal with the NFL, which has helped drive a 6% jump in NFL viewership since last year. And with the game streaming the day after Thanksgiving, Amazon could capture some of the holiday viewership, which broke records last year.

“I don’t make predictions on ratings,” Brian Rolapp, the NFL’s chief media and business officer, told CNBC’s Julia Boorstin this week. “But I think they’ll be good.” The Black Friday game kicks off at 3 p.m. ET.

Thanksgiving Day is already a football tradition, with the Detroit Lions and Dallas Cowboys headlining matchups through the years. Fox, CBS and NBC all will broadcast games on the holiday.

The NFL and Amazon hope the Black Friday game will become an annual tradition, executives said Tuesday at a media conference. In a push to drive Amazon e-commerce sales, the streaming broadcast will feature QR codes at the bottom of the screen that will link to some of Amazon’s Black Friday deals. Country music icon Garth Brooks will take the stage in an exclusive postgame concert.

Amazon’s 11-year “Thursday Night Football” deal and YouTube TV’s “NFL Sunday Ticket” package are just a few examples of live sports programming making the jump from cable to streaming. In October, Warner Bros. Discovery rolled out its Bleacher Report Sports Add-On Tier for the company’s flagship streaming platform Max, offering subscribers hundreds of live…

2023-11-24 07:30:01

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