Thursday marked the debut of the NFL on Amazon, and after a few hiccups at the beginning, it seemed to go smoothly throughout. Does that mean that it was a smashing success for all parties involved? Not so fast. In addition to the fact that the game was not too competitive, there were a number of issues that contributed to a bumpy debut for Amazon such as connectivity problems and an extensive weather delay.
Prior to the 2017-18 season, Amazon reached a one-year, $50 million deal with the NFL to stream 11 Thursday Night Football games to Amazon Prime members both foreign and domestic. Of course, the games are still being broadcast on NFL Network, along with flip-flopping between television networks CBS and NBC.
One of the main reasons that the NFL decided to move forward with this mega-deal is that it had been trying to expand its reach into international markets. Most prominently, the NFL has been hosting games in London for a few years now, and this year, they are slated to have four regular season games in England and one in Mexico City. In an effort to reach additional markets, Amazon streamed the game with multiple language options that include American English, UK-English, Spanish, and Brazilian-Portuguese. The UK-English option was supposed to be a more informative option for British and American viewers; however, the announcers did a poor job providing any additional information to their less knowledgeable audience, which upset a lot of viewers. Nevertheless, Amazon reported that people from 149 different countries streamed the game at one point or another.
Amazon’s Future In Sports
All-in-all, the first game should be deemed a success for both the NFL and Amazon. One, the NFL reached a global audience. If only the game would’ve been more competitive. On the other hand, Amazon was able to work out the kinks to be better prepared for future games, and even future sports. Of course, the NFL is the most valuable professional sports organization in the world, so it made sense starting with them; however, it appears that with the transition of many traditional cable customers to alternative streaming services, Amazon is getting itself ready to take over the sports broadcasting world.