Amazon’s 11-year $1 billion bet on Thursday Night Football got off to a strong start.
The company says last week’s game brought in more Prime signups in three hours than any other day in its history, including Cyber Monday, Black Friday or Prime Day. In addition, the game drew record-breaking prime-time audiences in the United States. The question is: will those viewers come back?
About 13.2 million people watched the streaming service’s premiere show, which featured a nail biter between the Los Angeles Chargers and the Kansas City Chiefs. This week, the focus is on the Steelers and Browns.
Amazon broadcasts of the games are a little different than what you may have seen on other networks. However, the second week of the NFL brought mixed reviews, so this week could be a test of whether Amazon’s formula is working.
Here’s a look at how to watch and what to expect from tonight’s Thursday night games and what’s next.
Which NFL teams are playing on Thursdays this season?
There’s a match in the Midwest this week. Here’s who’s playing when, with a reminder that the home team comes second.
Thursday 22 September
Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Cleveland Browns, 8:15 p.m. ET on Amazon Prime
Thursday 29 Sept
Miami Dolphins vs. Cincinnati Bengals, 8:15 p.m. ET on Amazon Prime
Thursday October 6th
Baltimore Colts vs. Denver Broncos, 8:15 p.m. ET on Amazon Prime
Thursday October 13th
Washington Commanders vs. Chicago Bears, 8:15 p.m. ET on Amazon Prime
Thursday 20 Oct
New Orleans Saints vs. Arizona Cardinals, 8:15 p.m. ET on Amazon Prime
Thursday 27 Oct
Baltimore Ravens vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 8:15 p.m. ET on Amazon Prime
Thursday 3 Nov
Philadelphia Eagles vs. Houston Texans, 8:15 p.m. ET on Amazon Prime
Thursday 10 Nov
Atlanta Falcons vs. Charlotte Panthers, 8:15 p.m. ET on Amazon Prime
Thursday 17 Nov
Tennessee Titans vs. Green Bay Packers, 8:15 p.m. ET on Amazon Prime
Thursday 24th Nov
New England Patriots vs. Minnesota Vikings, 8:20 p.m. ET on NBC
Thursday December 1st
Buffalo Bills v New England Patriots, 8:15 p.m. ET on Amazon Prime
Thursday December 8th
Las Vegas Raiders vs. Los Angeles Rams, 8:15 p.m. ET on Amazon Prime
Thursday 15 December
San Francisco 49ers vs. Seattle Seahawks, 8:15 p.m. ET on Amazon Prime
Thursday 22 December
Jacksonville Jaguars vs. New York Jets, 8:15 p.m. ET on Amazon Prime
Thursday 29 December
Dallas Cowboys vs. Tennessee Titans, 8:15 p.m. ET on Amazon Prime
Can I watch Thursday night NFL games for free on air television?
It really depends on where you live and who’s playing. If you’re in the hometown of either team playing on a given Thursday, chances are you’ll have the opportunity to watch even if you don’t have an Amazon Prime account. Simulcasts are offered on broadcast networks so you can watch for free with a good HD antenna.
However, if you are out of range of these stations, streaming is your only option.
Can I live stream Thursday night NFL games online if I don’t have an Amazon Prime account?
no While there are generally multiple streaming options on Sunday or Monday, Amazon has exclusivity on these games and prevents other streaming services from broadcasting them. The only exception will be on Thanksgiving night when NBC will be broadcasting the game.
What changes will Amazon make to the NFL games that will be broadcast?
Streaming audiences might be a bit different than traditional broadcast audiences, so Amazon offers a few twists for viewers while still keeping things familiar.
For example, it overlays stats and game updates with its “X-Ray” technology, much like it provides information about which actors are in a scene during a movie or TV show. An alternative stream will also be created for younger audiences, with YouTube troupe Dude Perfect replacing the default play-by-play and color commentary team.
Who is the Amazon broadcast team?
Amazon has hired some of the most well-known announcers and commentators as it jumps into the NFL. Al Michaels, who has called on both Monday Night Football and Sunday Night Football, will manage the team. Kirk Herbstreit, who has focused primarily on college games and has played a key role in ESPN’s College GameDay program, will be the color commentator. And All-Pro players Richard Sherman and Tony Gonzalez will be analysts alongside former Los Angeles Ram Andrew Whitworth and Ryan Fitzpatrick, who have played with nine teams during his career.
Can I watch Thursday Night Football at my favorite bar or restaurant?
Yes. Amazon has struck a deal with DirecTV, allowing over 300,000 bars and restaurants across the country to air the game
Does the NFL offer viewer packages to watch Thursday night games?
Sort of. That NFL app allows you to stream games that are broadcast locally in your market as well as any games that are played in prime time.
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