Amazon, Twitter, Verizon and YouTube are the horses in the running for the next NFL Thursday Night Football streaming rights package, which will reportedly be a multiyear deal.
The NFL has reached single-season agreements for those rights in the past two years. Twitter paid $10 million for the rights to 10 games in 2016, and Amazon paid $50 million for the rights to 11 games in 2017.
According to Bloomberg, this time around the bidders are throwing out figures in the hundreds of millions for agreements as long as five years. The report said Amazon, Twitter and YouTube are in the mix. According to Recode, Verizon—which last year renewed a deal with the NFL for the right to stream Sunday Night, Monday Night and Thursday Night football games across its digital and mobile properties—is also in the running for the Thursday Night Football deal.
As Bloomberg points out, 21st Century Fox is assisting the NFL in the digital rights negotiations. Fox emerged as the sole winner of NFL Thursday Night Football broadcasting rights earlier this year with a five-year deal rumored to be $3.3 billion, or $60 million per game.
ESPN’s deal could end up including rights to air the NFL Draft as well as an additional NFL playoff game.
The NFL is reportedly looking for a streaming partner that can couple the Thursday night games with interactive social media content and statistics.
Recode cited an unnamed source suggesting that Amazon may drop out of the bidding over concerns regarding terms in the NFL contract that could potentially limit viewership for the digital streams. According to Amazon, its 11 NFL games on Prime Video last season reached a combined 18.4 million viewers in 224 countries and territories. The average-minute audience watching NFL games on Prime Video for at least 30 seconds was more than 310,000, which the company said was 17% higher than Twitter in the previous season.