What you need to know about watching Thursday NFL on Amazon

Best NFL broadcast booth in the field: Joe Buck (left) and former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman (right).  The Fox Sports duo will call up Sunday's NFC title match at Lambeau Stadium.

Best NFL broadcast booth in the field: Joe Buck (left) and former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman (right). The Fox Sports duo will call up Sunday’s NFC title match at Lambeau Stadium.

Fox Sports

Many football fans will be frustrated and dumbfounded when they turn on their TV on Thursday night, September 15th and frantically browse their lineup, searching for the Chargers-Chiefs game that started 10 minutes ago.

When Amazon Prime begins broadcasting NFL games exclusively on Thursday in two weeks, NFL fans will be divided into three factions:

1) Those who already know all about Amazon Prime and choose to pay (or in many cases, keep paying) up to $14.99 per month for it.

2) Those who know about the service but refuse to pay for it and would rather find a friend – or a restaurant – where they can watch Thursday night matches for free. Even if you don’t have any friends with Amazon Prime (or any friends at all), this second option will be available because Amazon will allow DirecTV to make games available at some restaurants and sports bars.

3) Those who want to watch games on Amazon Prime but don’t know how or can’t access sports games on the streaming platform due to geographic or economic reasons.

This latter group includes a small portion of fans – mainly elderly people – who understandably lack tech savvy (those who don’t know Amazon Prime from the Amazon rainforest), those who reside in rural pockets without high-speed internet and those who just can’t afford it Computers.

But losing viewership for those fans — no matter how many — or fans who simply don’t want to watch a game on a tablet or smartphone is just collateral damage for the NFL, whose billion-dollar Amazon wouldn’t reject the annual offer to replace Fox and the NFL Network as a game carrier. Thursday night.

So it’s no surprise that Amazon has a good schedule, including Baltimore-Tampa Bay on October 27, Buffalo-New England on December 1, Las Vegas-Los Angeles Rams on December 8, and Dallas-Tennessee on December 29.

NBC will still hold the regular season opener Thursday (Buffalo Rams on September 8) and Thanksgiving Night Match (New England-Minnesota).

And if you live in a city with one of the teams shown on Thursday Night Football, the game will be televised over the air in your market, as has been the case for many years with cable TV channels ESPN and NFL Network. So Dolphins-Bengals will air on Amazon on Thursday, September 29, on free-to-air television in Miami-Fort Lauderdale and Cincinnati.

The NFL is poised to lose millions of viewers who don’t want to subscribe to Amazon to watch 15 NFL games a year.

“It’s normal for viewership to drop on Thursday, as games move from the free network [Fox] Brian Rollap, the NFL’s chief of media and business, said at the NFL owners’ meetings in the spring. “we [were] An average of 15, 16 million [viewers] Thursday night football.

Rolapp and a few other reporters reminded me that “a package was created in the late ’80s for ESPN, and obviously there’s been a drop in viewership. We might see that. If you talk to Amazonians, their goal is not to get a takedown.”

“I worry less about the reach of Amazon Prime. I worry more about how many of our fans know that Thursday night soccer is where it is. It’s more of an outreach issue than an issue of access. Amazon is working hard trying to figure out how to do it. The reason we chose Theirs is the broad reach of the Prime platform and their ability to reach people as we’ve seen digitally.”

Amazon Prime hopes that renting a streaming booth with the power of stars (Al Michaels and Kirk Herbstreit) will entice viewers to sign up for the service. I haven’t yet met a viewer watching a game because of the announcers, but Michaels brings a character and credibility that can’t help but help. Besides connecting to NFL games on Amazon, Herbstreit will remain the leading college football game analyst at ABC and ESPN.

“I truly believe that Amazon Prime is going to change the way people watch football,” said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. “There are a lot of people out there who don’t watch linear TV anymore, and it’s streaming. I don’t think we’ll just receive a TV broadcast and put it on a different platform….The Amazon platform will allow us to do things we only dreamed of until now. . . . .

“I think we’ll be able to reach fans wherever they are, the way they want to interact, and also use more innovation so we can engage them longer and differently than we have today.”

The transition of major esports to streaming services was inevitable but still feels some dissonance.

The NFL has only carried one Amazon-only game each year for the past two years, and MLB has two exclusive packages to stream this season — on Apple TV+ on Friday nights and Peacock (NBC’s streaming service) Sunday noon.

ESPN put dozens of NHL games on its streaming service (ESPN+) this past season, and ESPN+ will be broadcasting the Denver-Jacksonville NFL game on October 31 from London.

If you’re not familiar with Amazon Prime, it’s a quick primer:

Prime Video is included if you’re a member of Amazon’s Prime ($14.99 per month or $139 per year), which offers fast and often free shipping on Amazon purchases. Prime has more than 150 million members locally. An Amazon spokesperson confirmed that you can also access Thursday Night Games by subscribing to Prime Video for just $8.99 per month.

For those who don’t like watching live sports on a phone or tablet, there are ways to watch Amazon Prime video programming on TV, Business Insider explained. in this piece.

Among them: If you don’t own a smart TV, one way to get Amazon Prime Video on a TV is to connect a streaming player to your TV. Amazon sells streaming players, all of which feature Prime Video. Roku players and Apple TV are among the other devices that can be used.

And for those who don’t want to get to know Amazon Prime or pay money for it?

There is always a restaurant/water pit option, although we advise you to call ahead to make sure they are streaming the games.

Meanwhile, the NFL Sunday Ticket will be carried over on DirecTV for a final season before switching to the streaming service in 2023. Apple TV+, Disney, Amazon and Google submitted bids; It is said that Apple is the most fortunate.

“Apple has only scratched what it can do,” Rolap said. “You see media consumption in this country and it shifts to these streaming services. Amazon got there before everyone else, but they’re all going to follow. They have a lot of money.”

Moving Thursday night’s games to the streaming service wasn’t the only big NFL TV story this year.

If you missed it, Fox’s Joe Buck and Troy Aikman are the cast of ESPN’s new trailer for “Monday Night Football”; They signed contracts that are said to have a combined value of $165 million.

Kevin Burckhardt and Greg Olsen replaced them with Fox’s new lead this season (which includes the Super Bowl), but Tom Brady has agreed to become Fox’s chief game analyst after his retirement.

Also, Mike Tirico replaced Michaels as Cris Collinsworth’s partner at Sunday’s NBC Evening Games. Terriko got the promise of a job by 2022 when he joined NBC in 2016.

Barry Jackson has written for the Miami Herald since 1986 and has written a Florida Sports Buzz column since 2002.