Amazon took center stage in the sports universe when the tech giant broadcast its first exclusive NFL game — and it largely passed the test.
The game was transferred without any major hiccups or interruptions. Some fans have reported crashes and poor sound quality, but Amazon’s cloud technology seems to hold up overall, a baseline requirement for any live sports game streaming over the Internet.
Amazon’s high-profile NFL deal — which is expected to cost $11 billion over the next 11 years — is part of the company’s efforts to grow its content library, strengthen its advertising arm and add more Prime subscribers. It’s the latest example of live sports moving online and away from traditional cable TV, with tech giants Amazon and Apple bidding for lucrative streaming rights.
Thursday was not Amazon’s first rodeo, as the Seattle company has broadcast Thursday Night Football games for the past several years, in addition to other live sports.
But this was the first exclusive NFL stream, meaning fans — those in team markets and some bars or using Amazon’s Twitch platform — had to watch through Amazon and have a Prime subscription.
The company is also adding its own efficiencies to live sports, including enhanced data and alternative commentary streams. But watching Thursday’s stream really felt like watching another NFL game. Theme music And all – and maybe that’s enough for Amazon for now.
Here are some other key takeaways from Amazon’s big night in prime time.
Jeff Bezos attracts attention
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos was in attendance at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City to watch the Chiefs play the Los Angeles Chargers. Bezos has met with owners of both teams, some high-profile supporters of the boss; Admired playersAnd He watched the game. With NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.
It seems that Al Michaels, the game-driven guy, didn’t know how to play Bezos during the broadcast.
“Couldn’t one of the greatest mathematical minds in history know that?” Michael talked about Bezos.
Understanding streaming video
There were many jokes at the expense of potential viewers who were new to the idea of television that wasn’t broadcast on a traditional cable or broadcast channel. We have seen many tweets Making fun of parents Calling kids who need help finding the game.
If you’re into multiple camera angles and stats in-game at the click of a button, Amazon Streaming was right for you. In addition to the traditional stream featuring Michaels and color analyst Kirk Herbstreit, Amazon offers a “Prime Vision” feed that includes advanced stats and more — perfect for NFL geeks.
While some appreciated the quality of the stream, others expressed their disappointment. It seems to depend on an internet connection and a device – a very different experience than traditional TV, and will become more common as live sports become more common.
A big announcement for Prime
The company has certainly used the game as an advertising vehicle for its own products and content: Maybe a little too much. Most of the in-game ads were used to promote Amazon’s new Lord of the Rings show.
Man, no and yes?
Other televangelists have begun offering alternative commentary for fans watching live sports online, such as the “ManningCast” on ESPN’s “Monday Night Football,” where former pros Peyton and Eli Manning break down the game in an alternate broadcast.
Amazon is trying the same with Dude Perfect, who hosted their own stream of Thursday’s game. Viral content creators are definitely meant to appeal to young people, and some tweets defend the effort as good for kids. Like theseAnd These. Others weren’t sure if Amazon got the recipe right.