Amazon’s Prime Video, which is coming off a sizable ratings uptick for Thursday Night Football in the second year of its exclusive rights deal, will be the only place for viewers to watch an NFL playoff game next January.
The postseason rights agreement was confirmed to Deadline by sources familiar with the discussions between the league and the tech giant. The initiative follows a successful outing last month by NBCUniversal’s Peacock, which drew 23 million viewers for an exclusive stream of the wild-card playoff game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Miami Dolphins.
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In addition to healthy viewership (augmented by league media rules allowing the two teams’ local-market broadcast TV stations to also air it on linear TV), the game accounted for nearly one-third of all internet traffic on the Saturday night when it was played. NBCU parent Comcast proclaimed the game as the most streamed event in U.S. history.
Financial terms for the 2025 game were unavailable. NBCU reportedly paid $110 million for the rights to last month’s game and expressed interest in doing a follow-up next season. But sources told Deadline that Prime Video had the right of first refusal under its deal for Thursday night.
While more than a few traditional TV viewers and football fans were irked by the streaming-only development, it is in step with the direction of live sports overall in the streaming era. In many cases, streaming outlets have served as simulcast extensions of linear TV, as will be the case with Sunday’s Super Bowl. Increasingly, though, events are going online-only. Major League Baseball two years ago reached pacts with Apple, Prime Video and Peacock for exclusive game packages. WWE’s Raw franchise, a significant sports-adjacent property, will move from its longtime cable TV home on USA Network to Netflix starting next January under a 10-year, $5 billion deal.
While NBCU and Comcast have not disclosed any sign-up numbers related to the playoff game, research firm Antenna said 2.8 million subscribers came aboard in the period leading up to kickoff.
The Wall Street Journal had the first report on the Prime Video-NFL deal.
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