Thursday night NFL games streamed with stunning success on Twitter last year, but for the season, football’s jumping ship. The NFL and Amazon announced they’ve reached a $50 million agreement for streaming rights to 10 Thursday Night Football games for the 2017 season—a five-fold increase over the $10 million Twitter paid for last year’s games.
The agreement’s a major win for Amazon, which has been pushing hard to expand its TV offerings. It’s a bummer for folks who’ve ditched cable, though. While Twitter streamed TNF games to the world, making them freely available to cord-cutters even if watchers weren’t Twitter users, Amazon’s NFL livestreams will be limited to paying Amazon Prime subscribers. An Amazon Prime subscription costs $100 per year.
CBS and NBC will still be able to stream the Thursday night games they broadcast, but those channels lock their streams behind the CBS All Access premium service and cable authentication, respectively. Likewise, Verizon will still be able to stream TNF games to mobile devices, but that’s limited to Verizon users and it’s a pain to try and get Verizon’s streams on your big screen.
The best bet for NFL-loving cord-cutters who don’t want to buy into a handful of different services may be to invest in an over-the-air TV antenna. The NFL still doesn't offer a widespread subscription plan for live streaming games inside the U.S., as NFL Sunday Ticket is essentially limited to DirecTV subscribers alone.
Amazon says it may sell ads for the NFL streams, but also use the games to promote Amazon’s other video services, Recode reports. Amazon’s always using its services and features to entice you to embrace Amazon even more.