Will sports betting bring more views to ‘Thursday Night Football’ on Prime Video? That’s the bet Amazon is taking, as on Tuesday it announced a new partnership with DraftKings to provide pre- and in-game odds for every Thursday night game beginning Sept. 15.
The deal is multi-year and will include DraftKings integrations on every pregame show. The two companies will also collaborate on “TNF” themed promotions and betting, including similar games that will be available on the DraftKings app.
“We are excited to partner with DraftKings to bring fans more information and excitement as part of the TNF viewing experience,” said Danielle Carney, Head of NFL Sales for Amazon Ads. “DraftKings content will contribute to lively pre-game conversations, fan engagement and, perhaps, some bold predictions from our on-air talent.”
The “fan engagement” element of the deal with DraftKings is paramount to Amazon. This is the first year that “TNF” games will be broadcast exclusively on Prime Video without a linear simulcast. Despite how lucrative a property the NFL is, Amazon currently expects to draw fewer viewers to “TNF” after it moves to a streaming-only format.
It’s a decent bet that sports betting will help increase those numbers. Other media companies with a large sports streaming presence have either already integrated sports betting into their platforms or are exploring ways to do so. Earlier this summer it was reported that Disney was looking at options for more betting integration on ESPN.
“We’ve found that basically our under-30 sports fans absolutely demand this kind of utility in the overall portfolio of what ESPN offers,” Disney CEO Bob Chapek said of the value of offering comprehensive sports betting.
That’s not the only strategy Prime Video is using to bring a bigger audience to “TNF.” The streamer has also made use of ESPN’s “ManningCast” strategy, offering multiple simultaneous streams of game broadcasts with different commentators. Attracting a large audience for “TNF” is even more important to Prime Video than it appears on the surface. The company is still in the running for NFL Sunday Ticket when that service leaves DIRECTV after this season, but the NFL will want to be sure that whoever gets the rights to Sunday Ticket can keep bringing in fans — and their cash .