Amazon to live stream NFL games as part of $50m deal that dwarfs Twitter tie-up

Joe Hall
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10 live NFL games will be broadcast on Amazon (Source: Getty)

Amazon will pay $50m for the rights to live stream NFL American football games, in one of the most significant developments yet in the disruption of sports broadcasting.

The deal, which gives Amazon the rights to 10 Thursday night games next season, represents a significant upgrade on the $10m Twitter paid NFL for last year's fixtures.

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Amazon will include the NFL games as part of its $99 year Prime membership package that also includes free shipping and on-demand movies and videos.

The games will still be broadcast on TV channels CBS and NBC, who have five games each, and won't be available on mobile where streaming rights are owned by Verizon.

Twitter's experiment with the NFL failed to attract significant viewers, with an average of 266,000 viewers per minute watching the games on the platform as opposed to the average of 16m viewers who watched on TV.

Yet Amazon said the deal represented just the first major step in their expansion into sports, after successfully producing critically-lauded TV shows and movies.

"For us, this is about starting to bring live sports to our Prime members all around the world,” Jeff Blackburn, the company’s head of business development and entertainment, told Recode.

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