The NFL’s manifest destiny continues unabated.
NBC’s Peter King reported Monday that Amazon has been pushing to add a game on Black Friday to its Prime Video service that will be picking up “Thursday Night Football” games this fall, at an estimated cost of $70-100 million (the price of a first-round playoff game).
Right now, it is unclear if this will go into effect this season, but King reports that it’s coming down the pike by 2023 “at the latest.”
King presents a rather obvious reason as to why Amazon would want to air a game on this day.
“What better marketing tool for Amazon Prime than to put a game in the wheelhouse of their consumers, on the busiest shopping day of the year?” he asked. “With so many shoppers eschewing brick-and-mortar stores in favor of shopping from the couch, imagine the marketing heft when commercials can be targeted at stay-at-home shoppers.”
The NFL has reportedly already made a necessary rule change ahead of this inevitability. Previously, teams were only permitted to play on short rest once in a season. With the Black Friday game in the works, the league is enabling it to happen twice.
One issue the Black Friday game will present is that the inventory is going to be tricky during Thanksgiving weekend. There were already six standalone games — three on Thanksgiving, three on Sunday — and it’s already hard to produce that many compelling matchups.
This year, there is also the World Cup going on at the same time.
However, there’s been a gaping hole on Black Friday for years waiting for an NFL game to help people through their turkey-and-stuffing hangover, and it’s likely only a short matter of time until that flag is planted.