NFL to let Amazon livestream Black Friday game as league extends Madden deal

  • NFL enters first year of US$110 billion broadcast cycle
  • The first live Black Friday game could start in 2023

The National Football League is ready to let Amazon broadcast a game live on Black Friday starting next season, according to the Sports Business Journal (SBJ).

Thanksgiving football is hugely popular in the United States, and the league has toyed with the idea of ​​an extra weekend game to generate more revenue, boost ratings, and strengthen its association with the U.S. national holiday. in the public consciousness.

Any Black Friday games would be separate from the NFL’s existing $110 billion domestic broadcast deals and would have to be played in the afternoon to comply with US regulations that prohibit live games on Fridays during the season. high school and college football.

But such a time slot wouldn’t be a concern given that many people will still be at home with their families, eager to watch live sports.

The report adds that the NFL could wait until 2024 before creating the new time slot, but that shouldn’t dampen Amazon’s enthusiasm. The new broadcaster for Thursday night games is said to be willing to pay between US$70 million and US$100 million a year to broadcast the NFL on the busiest shopping day of the year in the United States.

The move would fit with Amazon’s previous tactic of buying sports rights that coincide with major retail events, driving signups for its Prime service, which includes free shipping and encourages customers to spend more on its platform. -form.

A deal confirmed by the NFL is an extension of its esports deal with EA Sports. The multi-year partnership will see the continuation of the Madden NFL Championship Series (MCS) esports tournament, an event that quadrupled in viewership last year.

The MCS will align with key events on the NFL calendar – including Thanksgiving – in an effort to boost fan engagement among young fans. The series will culminate with the “Ultimate Madden NFL Bowl” during Super Bowl LVII week in February 2023.

“As a trusted partner for over 30 years, EA’s commitment to football authenticity with Madden NFL is exemplary,” said Ed Kiang, NFL Vice President of Video Games.

“Expanding our partnership with EA is another avenue for the League to grow fandom off the field and enhance the EA Sports Madden NFL Championship Series by aligning competitive Madden play with NFL moments. Our joint efforts will generate the kind of excitement NFL fans expect while highlighting the best Madden players in the world.

Kenneth T. Shippee