TV Answer Man, I am excited about watching the Chiefs and Chargers on Amazon but I am confused about some of the details on how to do it. Can you give us a primer on the streaming of the games? — Jerry, Bloomington, Indiana.
Jerry, Amazon tonight will kick off its exclusive streaming of the NFL’s Thursday Night Football games with the Los Angeles Chargers-Kansas City Chiefs matchup from Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City. The TNF games will not be available this season on Fox and the NFL Network
While Amazon’s exclusive coverage might be good news for some cord-cutters, many cable and satellite customers might be a bit confused about how to stream the games and whether they will include some of the features and benefits they have long enjoyed with their pay TV services.
Here are eight things everyone should know before trying to watch the game tonight, and the rest of the Amazon TNF schedule:
1.How Do You Stream the Game?
You go to Amazon’s Prime Video app on your streaming device. (High-speed Internet service is a must here.) There you will see games shown under the ‘Live and upcoming events’ banner. Then click on that night’s game and start watching.
You can also go to Amazon’s home page and click on Prime Video where you will see a link to ‘live and upcoming events.’ (The Amazon app and web site will likely have a prominent display of the night’s game on the Home Page so it will be hard to miss it.)
Prime Video is available on 650 different streaming devices, although Amazon says some are better than others. See this article for more details.
2. Do You Need an Amazon Prime Sub to Watch?
No, there are four different ways to watch Amazon’s TNF games without paying a dime: Local channels in the markets of the two teams playing; bars and restaurants that show the game via DIRECTV; a 30-day free trial to Amazon Prime; or a free Twitch account. See this article for more details.
3. How Much Is an Amazon Prime Sub?
If you want to subscribe to watch the games, an Amazon Prime membership costs $14.99 a month or $139 a year. A membership plan to only Amazon Prime Video is $8.99 a month. (The Prime membership provides many more benefits, such as free two-day shipping.)
4. Are There Ways to Avoid Streaming Delays?
Live streaming can be unreliable, perhaps most notably that it can be up to a minute behind the real time action. However, Amazon says there are certain streaming devices that are better than others at reducing delays. See this article for more details.
5. Can You Record the Game to Watch Later?
Amazon has added DVR controls to the live stream so you can record the game as well as pause, rewind and fast-forward while the game is being played. See this article for more details.
6. How Do You Know Which Bars Will Show the TNF Games?
DIRECTV has partnered with Amazon to show the Thursday Night Football games in more than 300,000 commercial venues across the nation. The satcaster, which has provided the NFL Sunday Tickets in bars and restaurants for years, has a Sports Bar Finder app that can tell you which places in your area will have both the Amazon games and the Sunday Ticket. See this article for more details and see the video below for a look at how the Sports Bar Finder app works.
7. Will DIRECTV’s Sunday Ticket Subs Get the Games For Free In Their Lineups?
No, 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, you will have to use one of the four methods described above. See this article for more details.
8. Will the Amazon Games Be Available In 4K?
No, Amazon tells the TV Answer Man that the games this season will be available in 1080p, not 4K. See this article for more details.
Jerry, hope that helps. Happy viewing and stay safe!
Have a question about new TV technologies? Send it to The TV Answer Man at firstname.lastname@example.org Please include your first name and hometown in your message.
— Phillip Swann