An NFL game streamed by Amazon Prime on Black Friday is now a foregone conclusion, according to NBC’s Peter King. It may not happen this year, but it will almost certainly be on the schedule in 2023. This comes after the owners quietly cut through some red tape at the recent league meeting to make it possible.
Owners gave the NFL permission to schedule two more teams for a second short-week game. … Amazon Prime has wanted a Black Friday game—a game on the Friday after Thanksgiving—as part of its schedule in 2022, or at the latest by 2023. This resolution gave the NFL the ability to take two more teams and make them play, in this case, on the Friday following a Sunday game. For each, it would be the second time of the year playing on three- or four-days rest, something no coach will actually want to do.
There’s some opposition in the league about playing a game on Nov. 25, and there’s a decent chance the NFL will put off a Black Friday game on Amazon Prime till 2023. But it’s going to happen, I’m told, by next year at the latest.
As always, it’s about the almighty buck. Amazon is willing to pay the NFL an additional $70 to $100 million for the Black Friday game, according to King. That’s the going rate to broadcast one playoff game these days, so Amazon is not screwing around.
There are plenty of challenges to the concept. Besides the short week competitive concerns, a 2022 Black Friday game would go up against the scheduled U.S.-England World Cup game this fall — although I can’t imagine the NFL is going to pass on a bunch of cash because it fears soccer. Federal antitrust laws also prevent the NFL from playing a Friday night game with high school and college season still going on, so the kickoff time might be wonky. There is also the issue of how appealing the matchup would be.
But let’s be real: None of that will get in the way. We’re talking about Amazon and the NFL here. They play for keeps.