Amazon is getting into the live sports broadcasting business. The retailing giant, which has spent hundreds of millions of dollars acquiring content for its subscription video business, has won the rights to stream "Thursday Night Football" games for this upcoming season.
Sources confirmed to ESPN that the deal to stream the games, which will be simulcast on the NFL Network and either CBS or NBC, is worth $50 million, up from the $10 million that Twitter paid for the streaming in the deal last season.
The Wall Street Journal and the Sports Business Journal broke the story.
Unlike with Twitter, where anyone who logged on could see the games, only Amazon customers who pay for its Prime service will have access. Another revenue stream will come to Amazon through some ad inventory, though the $50 million price is relatively less of a spend for Amazon than $10 million was for Twitter.
Twitter executives were publicly thrilled with the integration of Thursday Night Football games into their platform, but when it came time for renewal, the company was not well positioned financially against the other serious bidders. Joining Twitter with bigger offers this time were Amazon and Facebook, two of the top seven most valuable companies in the U.S.
Amazon, which accounts for more than half of every new dollar spent online in America, according to The Economist, charges $99 per year, or $10.99 a month, for its Prime service.
The company bought video game streaming site Twitch, popular among esports enthusiasts, for $970 million in 2014.
This is the second year of a two-year deal to simulcast the NFL Network's broadcast of TNF. Both CBS and NBC pay $225 million apiece per year to broadcast five Thursday night games a season.