NFL Streaming Goes Priiiiime Time
It looks like even the mighty National Football League is getting hooked on streaming licensing revenue just like every other content provider out there. Late last week Amazon announced it had reached an agreement with the league to live stream another season of Thursday Night Football. These are the same games Fox will carry the network broadcast of while Amazon has the exclusive streaming rights.
For Amazon this deal is all about exclusive content. By using the NFL as a tent pole Amazon gives customers one more reason to buy a Prime membership, which includes access to their video content. As I explained in a post last month, Amazon’s entire TV strategy revolves around driving new Prime subs, and even evaluates each shows’ ROI on a CPFS (Cost Per First Stream) basis. You can bet the NFL was CPFS-positive for Amazon last year which is why they re-upped for 2018.
For the NFL this deal represents the continuation of a trend towards diversifying its distribution through online, in-app and OTT delivery. You might recall last year Verizon signed a $2.25B deal to carry all NFL games on any device with a 7 inch or smaller screen over the next five years. That’s a cool $450M/yr for the NFL in addition to their normal broadcast rights fees with the traditional networks. With digital deals like this it’s no wonder the NFL owners aren’t too nervous about slowly declining network ratings.