Amazon is set to revolutionise how NFL fans engage with the league in the second season of "Thursday Night Football," commencing with the Minnesota Vikings facing off against the Philadelphia Eagles. In an effort to provide an unparalleled experience, Amazon is bringing forth enhancements that traditional linear broadcasts can't match.
Beyond simply upgrading picture quality, this year's "TNF" will introduce extensive production enhancements, including the integration of artificial intelligence to enrich game narratives and storytelling. These novel elements encompass spotlighting open receivers with a high probability of securing a first down, AI-generated alerts predicting defensive players likely to blitz, expanded field-goal success probabilities, and a fresh third-down indicator illustrating where the ball needs to reach for a fourth-down attempt to be worthwhile.
Jared Stacy, Amazon Prime Video's director of global live sports production, emphasised the objective: "It's all about making football fans smarter."
Amazon will continue to offer three primary feeds: the primary English-language broadcast, a Spanish-language option, and the analytics-focused Prime Vision feed featuring Next Gen Stats. Additionally, there will be occasional fourth feeds featuring special guests or thematic content.
Amazon's 2022 audience averaged 9.6 million viewers, according to Nielsen data, rising to 11.3 million when factoring in Amazon's first-party measurements. While these numbers marked a decline from "TNF" on Fox Sports, there was a silver lining. Amazon's exclusive coverage boasted a median age of 47, eight years younger than the linear average for the league.
Nielsen's audience counting methods stirred controversy during the preseason, but Amazon's numbers are poised to receive a substantial boost from the inaugural Black Friday game on November 24, featuring the Miami Dolphins and New York Jets. This game will be accessible without the usual paywall, potentially transforming the day after Thanksgiving into another national football holiday.
Despite the cloud cast by the absence of star Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers, the game is anticipated to at least challenge, if not surpass, new audience records for a live streaming event. Amazon is also diligently working to minimise online latency, a persistent challenge in live sports streaming, aiming to reduce it to 10 seconds or less for "TNF."