Amazon Prime's hold on the NFL keeps growing, and it isn't coming cheap.
The streaming company will have exclusive streaming rights for a playoff game next postseason, per multiple reports on Feb. 9. Prime Video will pay the NFL $120 million in the deal, Michael McCarthy of FOS reported Wednesday.
The news was first reported by the Wall Street Journal's Joe Flint, who added that NBCUniversal contested for an opportunity to host a playoff game again. NBCUniversal paid at least $110 million for the exclusive rights to that game. But Amazon Prime's victory was powered by strong metrics from Thursday Night Football that triggered performance clauses, per USA Today.
Amazon paid $11 billion for 11 years of "Thursday Night Football" rights in 2021 and went on to make history by hosting the first Black Friday NFL game, which saw the Miami Dolphins beat the New York Jets 34-13. The company made the stream free for everyone.
But it was NBCUniversal’s Peacock that claimed the rights for the league's first exclusively live-streamed NFL playoff game in January. The AFC Wild Card game was a 26-7 win for the Kansas City Chiefs over the Miami Dolphins. On Sunday, the Chiefs face the San Francisco 49ers in the Super Bowl.
Even though some fans weren't happy about having to subscribe to Peacock during the playoffs, NBC indicated that the inaugural stream averaged 23 million viewers, making it the most-streamed event in American history. Now, it'll be Amazon's turn.
Prime Video averaged 11.86 million viewers over 16 games this season, according to Nielsen. It was a 24% increase over the start of the company's foray into NFL streaming last season. Twelve of Amazon's games averaged more than 10 million viewers this campaign.
The NFL had only a wild-card contest to deal out, as the divisional round and conference championship games have been accounted for since a round of media rights deals in 2021 that will last until 2033.
Under those agreements, NBC, CBS, Fox and ESPN/ABC each boast one divisional-round game, while CBS and Fox share conference championship privileges. The Super Bowl broadcast rotates among those networks.
Super Bowl LVIII will air on CBS, accompanied by a simultaneous kid-friendly version on Nickelodeon.