Amazon took its foray into live sports coverage to the next step by rounding out its flagship Thursday Night Football crew. Charissa Thompson, long-time sports reporter, will host TNF’s NFL pregame, halftime, and postgame shows.
She will join NFL analysts and former NFL players Tony Gonzalez, Richard Sherman, and Ryan Fitzpatrick in Amazon Prime Video’s wraparound coverage. Thompson will broadcast live on-site at each football arena every Thursday night game this upcoming season. Thompson will also continue to host FOX NFL Kickoff on Sundays.
Amazon has not spared any expense when it comes to hiring the best available on-air talent to provide play-by-play and color commentary. In addition, longtime Monday Night Football and Sunday Night Football play-by-play commentator Al Michaels has joined the crew. Alongside him will be longtime ESPN college football analyst Kirk Herbstreit.
Amazon Prime’s Thursday Night Football will kick off on September 15th.
Amazon Prime sets off new era of live sports streaming
With Thursday Night Football on the Prime streaming platform, Amazon is leading the revolution of live sports streaming. For audiences at home, all they need is a Prime membership and the broadcast will be available. For public venues like sports bars and restaurants, the issue might be more complicated.
Several bar owners have expressed concern that without a significant investment in new equipment, their place of business would be shut out from airing TNF games. It's a big draw to get patrons to bars and restaurants on a Thursday night. Streaming comes with its own issues if the internet connection is not strong and the live feed is inconsistent. Currently, Prime memberships are $139.00 a year or $14.00 a month (or $8.99 a month for video only).
That being said, one thing that should remain the same is that local channels in the same market/city as the NFL team will be able to carry the game. Bars and restaurants in Kansas City and Los Angeles will not have to stream for Chiefs, Rams, and Chargers games. A TV antenna or paid TV service will be able to show these TNF games.
With a new era of live sports streaming starting this season, fans will have the convenience of live streaming from any TV or phone that has an internet connection. Sports is now more accessible than ever, assuming fans have the right paid streaming platform.