TV Answer Man, I read at your site that DIRECTV has a deal with Amazon to show their Thursday Night Football games. Does that mean that Sunday Ticket subscribers will get the games for free as part of their package? — Claire, Bloomington, Indiana. 

Claire, DIRECTV and Amazon last month signed a multi-year deal that will permit the satcaster to provide Amazon’s Thursday Night Football broadcasts to more than 300,000 bars, restaurants, hotel lounges and other business venues.

This is Amazon’s first year as the exclusive provider of TNF and the agreement between the companies is an acknowledgement that bars and restaurants could have difficulty streaming the games to their patrons. DIRECTV has provided a feed of the NFL Sunday Ticket to commercial establishments for years.

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However, the DIRECTV/Amazon partnership does not extend to the general satellite audience, whether subscribers have a subscription to the NFL Sunday Ticket or not. If you want to watch Amazon’s TNF games, which start this Thursday (September 15) with the Chiefs-Chargers matchup, you’ll have to watch them at Amazon via a Prime subscription (Amazon has a 30-day free trial) or the free Twitch service. (If you live in the markets where the teams play, the TNF games will also be available on a local channel.)

This could pose a challenge for many DIRECTV subscribers (and Dish subscribers) who live in rural areas where high-speed Internet service is not readily available. But the NFL’s decision to award the Thursday night rights to Amazon is another indicator that the league sees streaming as the future. Commissioner Roger Goodell has said repeatedly that he believes the next Sunday Ticket contract will go to a streaming company. (DIRECTV’s current Ticket exclusive expires after the 2022 season.)

How to find the Amazon games at a local bar:

Claire, hope that helps. Happy viewing and stay safe!

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— Phillip Swann