Prime Video will add Black Friday play to the NFL package in 23
By Joe Reedy
The NFL will expand to Black Friday starting next season.
The league announced Tuesday that Amazon Prime Video will broadcast a game the day after Thanksgiving. Game 1 of Black Friday will begin at 3 p.m. EST on November 23, 2023. Teams will be announced in May when the regular season schedule is expected to be released.
Prime Video is in its first season as the exclusive carrier of “Thursday Night Football” and will expand to 16 games next season.
The package, which runs through the 2033 season, costs an average of $1.2 billion per season, but Amazon will pay between $50 million and $70 million per year for the additional game.
NFL owners passed a resolution at league meetings in March that gave the league permission to schedule another short game on Thanksgiving week.
Marie Donoghue, Amazon’s vice president for global sports video, said talks of a Black Friday game began when the original contract was being negotiated last year, but it ended. accelerated this year.
Donoghue said Amazon would treat the game as one of the biggest of the season.
“Given what this day already means to millions of Americans, the number of them interacting with Amazon and the strong presence of Amazon. And also, the fact that there was no NFL games that day, we thought we could treat it like a Super Bowl,” she said.
The NFL has regularly played three games on Thanksgiving Day since 2006. The primetime game was originally broadcast by NFL Network before NBC picked it up in 2012. CBS and Fox alternate Detroit’s first game and the Dallas late afternoon game.
There were rumors this summer that the Black Friday game would be sped up to this year, but the day is already packed with the World Cup and high-profile college football games.
The United States will face England in a World Cup group stage match on Fox at 2 p.m. ET. College football has long used Black Friday as a day to feature rivalry games, and this year is no exception with Texas vs. Baylor, North Carolina vs. NC State, Missouri vs. Arkansas, Iowa vs. Nebraska, and Florida State vs. Florida among the games.
“This year we focused on the 15 Thursdays they already had. But now that we’re almost halfway there and seeing Amazon’s big hit, it was a good time to take the next step. forward, and add to the partnership and extend Black Friday,” said Hans Schroeder, executive vice president of NFL Media.
According to Nielsen, Prime Video averaged 10.8 million viewers over the first five games. The last two games haven’t been on TV as Indianapolis beat Denver 12-9 and Washington held on for a 12-7 win over Chicago.
Thursday’s game will be a 2-4 team clash as New Orleans visits Arizona. The Oct. 27 game will feature Lamar Jackson’s Baltimore Ravens and Tom Brady’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The league has eight weeks set aside to run through the byes, but all 32 teams are in action for Week 12 this season, which is Thanksgiving week.
The extra play also means there will be eight windows to fill with intriguing matches while satisfying five broadcast partners. Schroeder said the league had the same case this year with Christmas week and would use that as a model to build Thanksgiving week.
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