Amazon's Exclusive ‘Thursday Night Football' Package Will Begin in 2022 Instead of 2023

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  • Amazon said it will begin streaming 'Thursday Night Football' games exclusively beginning in 2022.
  • The company had previously announced it would begin exclusively streaming games in 2023.
  • Amazon is paying $1 billion per year to exclusively stream NFL games outside of local broadcast networks.
  • Amazon's 11-year agreement marks the first time games will be provided by a streaming video provider.

Amazon Prime Video's exclusive 15-game "Thursday Night Football" package will now debut in 2022, a year earlier than previously announced, the company said Monday.

Amazon made history last month when it became the first all-streaming provider to agree to carry a weekly package of National Football League games. The technology giant is paying $1 billion per season for the exclusive rights.

Amazon's deal will now run 11 years, matching the length of the Sunday and Monday packages acquired by Disney, Comcast, ViacomCBS and Fox. The Prime Video package is for 15 Thursday night games and one pre-season game each season.

Amazon had always intended to have an 11-year package but needed to wait a month for the NFL to contractually end its deal with Fox a year earlier, according to a person familiar with the matter.

"We look forward to bringing Thursday Night Football exclusively to Prime members in 2022, a year earlier than previously announced," said Marie Donoghue, vice president of global sports video at Amazon, in a statement. "This expedited deal is an immediate differentiator for us as a service, as it gives Prime members exclusive access to the most popular sport in the United States."

Amazon views "Thursday Night Football" as a sweetener to keep people paying for Prime, the company's subscription service that includes free shipping on many Amazon-purchased products. Amazon founder, CEO and Chairman Jeff Bezos disclosed last month that the company surpassed 200 million global Prime subscribers.

A Prime Video membership costs $8.99 per month, but it's also included with Amazon Prime which costs $12.99 per month or $119 a year. All Thursday Night games will also be broadcast over the air in local markets.

Disclosure: Comcast is the parent company of NBCUniversal, which owns CNBC.

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