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Amazon’s NFL Deal Includes $30 Million in Free Marketing


Amazon’s deal to stream NFL Thursday night games includes as much as $30 million worth of marketing and promotion of the football league, pushing the total value of the contract as high as $80 million, according to a person familiar with the terms.

The e-commerce giant won the rights to the games earlier this month by agreeing to pay the National Football League $50 million, about five times what Twitter Inc. spent last season. Inc. will offer the games as part of its video-subscription service, the company’s latest effort to boost the value of its Prime membership.

Amazon will promote the NFL across its platforms, said the person, who requested anonymity because the terms of the contract are private. The NFL and Amazon declined to comment on specifics of the contract, including how the company would promote the league.


While CBS, NBC and the NFL Network will continue to broadcast the games on television, short-term digital agreements are part of the league’s strategy leading up to 2021, when the traditional broadcast deals will begin to expire. At that point, the NFL will look to tech companies as possible bidders alongside networks like ESPN, CBS, NBC and Fox.

Amazon has been enhancing its streaming content by making original movies and shows to increase the value of a $99-a-year Prime membership, which also includes delivery discounts and photo storage. Customers who watch shows on Amazon during promotional trials are more likely to subscribe to Prime and renew their memberships, the company has said.

Twitter has said that it had an average audience of 3.5 million unique viewers per game.

Facebook Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google also bid for the NFL’s Thursday games.


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