Amazon is ubiquitous in our lives now. One of the areas where they have made giant strides is the direct streaming of premier sports competition. They have already entered, for example, soccer league sports streaming such as the English Premier league.
Now, Amazon seems to be looking to enter the NFL market itself. Reports have emerged that Amazon is looking to have 49 percent of shares in the NFL Network.
Amazon and the NFL Network
The NFL is a notoriously guarded institution. It is very difficult to enter the league as can be seen from the various supply and demand pressures when it comes to expanding the NFL to various other cities.
So when the NFL itself determines that external parties can enter, it is an opportunity one has to grab with both hands. Right now the NFL is inviting external parties to provide services for the NFL Red Zone, NFL.com and NFL Network. It is at the latter that Amazon has a good chance, and it has approached the league for consideration.
There is a very good possibility that Amazon might get this order. As a very large corporation, it does not have problems with working capital, and then it comes down to its experience in the field. As has been noted before, some of the experience so far lies with the successful migration of streaming directly from Amazon Prime for other sports leagues.
If the deal were to go through, streaming services for the NFL would begin in 2022. It would allow a viewer to watch, on Amazon Prime, a set of games exclusively on Amazon's platform. So far, reports suggest that Thursday Night football is where Amazon leads, whereas other vendors are also under consideration for Sunday Night football.
From an NFL perspective, it makes sense to focus on online streaming services. With TV viewership stagnating and dwindling, there is going to be more of a focus from the NFL to stay ahead of the curve. Perhaps that sentiment is best expressed by Robert Kraft in his message below:
"As the whole world of communications and digital media changes, we want to find a partner who can further help us maximize the reach and potential the NFL assets represent."
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Ultimately, that is what it boils down to. The NFL knows it has a great product. Amazon knows it is a behemoth. Both are looking for a win-win situation.