Amazon Prime Scores NFL Playoff Game for 2024 Season

After a trial run with Peacock, the league will step up to a bigger base of streaming spectators.

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Photo by Norbert Braun via Unsplash

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We know who will be in next year’s NFL playoffs: Amazon. 

Ahead of last weekend’s big game, the NFL said it’s sending one of its post-season games next year exclusively to Amazon Prime Video, which just finished its first season streaming Thursday Night Football.

All Out Blitz

Call it a sequel to the much-maligned Peacock Bowl. Earlier in this year’s postseason play, the NFL sold exclusive rights to a wild card game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Miami Dolphins to NBCUniversal’s Peacock streaming service in a deal reportedly worth $110 million. The result: the most live-streamed event in US history, according to Nielsen, as well as quite a few angry fans scorned by the $5.99 per month subscription sign-up fee to watch the game. According to subscription analytics firm Antenna, Peacock scored 2.8 million new subscribers over a three-day period, good for the single-biggest subscriber acquisition moment the firm has ever observed.

A record live-stream audience, however, pales compared to a typical broadcast one. Still, the NFL says it is committed to putting at least one playoff game a year on a streaming service. And by connecting with Amazon next year, it may split the difference:

  • This year’s Peacock game drew around 23 million viewers, according to Nielsen. A day later, the Green Bay Packers and the Dallas Packers drew 40 million viewers on a Fox broadcast.
  • But Peacock only has around 31 million paying subscribers overall, according to parent company Comcast’s most recent earnings report. By comparison, around 167 million Americans have an Amazon Prime subscription, which includes access to Prime Video.

Win it All: Amazon Prime Video’s impressive subscriber base actually places it far ahead of the reach of traditional pay-TV, like cable or satellite bundles, which now service around just 60 million US households (most NFL games are still available on broadcast networks). And that figure is likely to drop below 50 million by 2027, according to Insider Intelligence. This may explain why Disney, WarnerBros Discovery, and Fox plan to launch a joint sports-only streaming service later this year. The history of co-owned media operations is shoddy, to say the least (just about every legacy media player once squabbled over how to run the formerly co-owned Hulu, after all), but rest assured the NFL tends to find available eyeballs with as much accuracy as Patrick Mahomes.