Thursday night football has been the domain of the NFL Network and Fox for the past several years. But as of September 15, change is in the air.
Just as Major League Baseball has sent some exclusive broadcast rights to Apple TV+, the NFL is embracing the streaming model, with Amazon Prime handling Thursday night duties. And let’s hope they get it right, because the company will hold those rights for the next 11 years, with a few exceptions, like Thanksgiving.
Amazon plans to broadcast the games a little differently. Here’s a look at how to watch and what to expect from Thursday night’s games.
Which NFL teams are playing on Thursdays this season?
A few seasons ago, Thursday night games were some of the least impressive. But in 2022, it’s a much more interesting series of matchups. Here’s who’s playing when, with a reminder that the home team comes second.
Thursday 15 September
Los Angeles Chargers vs. Kansas City Chiefs, 8:15 p.m. ET on Amazon Prime
Thursday 22 Sept
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?
This is where it gets a little tricky. If you live in the hometown of either team playing on a given Thursday, you likely 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.
But if you find yourself out of range of those channels, streaming or a trip to the local sports bar is your only option.
Can I live stream Thursday night NFL games online if I don’t have an Amazon Prime account?
no While the many streaming services can help you watch games any other day, Amazon has exclusivity on these games and prevents other streaming services from broadcasting them.
What changes will Amazon make to the NFL games that will be broadcast?
Amazon understands that the streaming audience might be a bit different than the broadcast audience, so it’s planning some unique twists in the game.
For example, it will overlay 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 a younger audience, with the YouTube group Dude Perfect replacing the standard 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 lead 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.
Sign up for the Fortune Features Email list so you don’t miss our biggest features, exclusive interviews and investigations.