Amazon Prime Video has revolutionized Thursday Night Football with groundbreaking AI-powered features, offering fans a new and enhanced viewing experience. Last season marked the start of a lucrative 11-year, $13.2 billion exclusive rights deal between Amazon Prime Video and the NFL, and now the tech giant is taking it a step further by introducing innovative enhancements to redefine how fans engage with the game.
The launch of Thursday Night Football 2.0 on Amazon Prime Video was highly anticipated, and it did not disappoint. As the Philadelphia Eagles beat the Minnesota Vikings 34-28 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, viewers were treated to a whole new way of experiencing the game.
The transition of Thursday night games from traditional networks to Amazon Prime Video was a bold move by the NFL, venturing into the digital landscape and risking confusion among viewers and advertisers. However, it seems to have paid off, as Jared Stacy, Director of Live Production at Prime Video, reflected on the past season and stated, We were learning week to week, especially things that maybe you weren’t seeing. He added that it went really well for them, highlighting the high production quality and stable streaming, which had not been achieved at such a scale before.
This season, Amazon Prime Video plans to take fan engagement to unprecedented heights with AI-powered features and deep insights into the game. Their approach combines in-house machine learning and AI capabilities, Prime Video’s production expertise, and the robust Amazon Web Services (AWS) infrastructure.
One of the notable offerings is Prime Vision with Next Gen Stats, which deepens the viewing experience of live NFL action through an alternate stream. Amazon collects over 300 million data points per season to power machine learning models, providing viewers with fresh insights for each game. This approach helps Amazon understand the sport better and enables them to share that knowledge with the viewers, as stated by Julie Souza, Head of Sports, Global Professional Services at AWS.
In terms of viewership, last season’s 15 games on Amazon Prime Video averaged about 9.6 million viewers, which increased to 11.3 million when combined with internal data. While this audience is significant, it is still smaller than the viewership on traditional linear broadcasts, which averaged 13.3 million viewers. However, Amazon’s advertising efforts are in focus, capitalizing on its $38 billion advertising revenue from last year. Advertisers can now target specific demographics and track the impact of their ads down to product sales, closing the loop and providing powerful insights.
Jay Marine, VP of Prime Video and Global Head of Sports, emphasized the power of advertising on streaming platforms, stating, We know every single person that’s watching, they’re logged in. This level of insight allows advertisers to understand the reaction to their ads and evaluate their impact on end product sales, making streaming platforms a valuable advertising medium.
Overall, Amazon Prime Video’s groundbreaking AI-powered features and its successful integration of live NFL games have transformed Thursday Night Football. With improved fan engagement, enhanced viewing experiences, and valuable advertising opportunities, Amazon continues to innovate and reshape the way we consume and interact with sports content.