Amazon, the online retail giant, will expand its coverage of American football’s NFL after being awarded rights to the league’s first-ever ‘Black Friday’ game from next season.
The game will be added to the NFL slate on Amazon's Prime Video streaming service, which already includes exclusive coverage of Thursday Night Football (TNF) as part of a lucrative deal with the league.
Amazon will reportedly pay between $50 million and $70 million per year for the additional game.
A game on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving in the US, became feasible in April after the NFL owners passed a resolution that allows the league to schedule two more teams for a second short-week game.
The NFL decided against adding a game in 2022 as it would have clashed with the FIFA World Cup men's soccer match between the US and England.
The inaugural fixture will take place on November 24, 2023, with the teams to be announced in May when the regular season schedule for next year is expected to be released.
The agreement for the Black Friday game is initially for one season, but, speaking at Tuesday's fall league meeting in New York, commissioner Roger Goodell said the league does not usually "do things for one year."
Marie Donoghue, Amazon’s vice president of global sports video, revealed that it began talks with the NFL over a Black Friday game while the original contract was being negotiated last year.
Prime Video is in its first season as the exclusive broadcaster of TNF and will expand to 16 games next year.
It has an 11-year agreement with the league through the 2033 campaign worth around $1.2 billion annually.
Through the first five games of its inaugural season on Prime Video, TNF is averaging 10.8 million viewers.
Hans Schroeder, chief operating officer for NFL Media, said: "Thanksgiving is synonymous with football and we're excited to give our fans another day of NFL action during this holiday weekend.
"Amazon is uniquely positioned to partner with us for this game as Black Friday is one of the most important days of the year for their business."
Jay Marine, Prime Video global head of sports, added: "Thursday Night Football has already proven tremendously successful on Prime Video, delivering millions of viewers every week, and we're excited to expand our relationship with the NFL with the inaugural Black Friday game, starting next year.”
The NFL already shows three contests on Thanksgiving Day itself, as well as prime-time games on the following Sunday and Monday nights. The extra game will leave 10 matches during the normal Sunday afternoon slot of 1PM and 4PM ET.
The prime-time game was originally carried by NFL Network before NBC took it over in 2012. National networks CBS and Fox alternate carrying the early game from Detroit and the late afternoon matchup from Dallas.
Last year, the Las Vegas Raiders versus Dallas Cowboys delivered an estimated 38.5 million viewers for CBS, which made it the most watched NFL regular-season game on any network since 1990.
This year’s triple-header features the Detroit Lions and Buffalo Bills, followed by the Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants, and the New England Patriots against the Minnesota Vikings.
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