TV Answer Man, our Internet service is not the best so we had lots of problems trying to watch the Amazon stream of the Thursday Night Football game. Do you know if the NFL plans to do more of these games just on streaming? This is not good for fans who don’t live in the city where the Internet is good. — Shawn, Port Republic, Maryland.
Shawn, Amazon this season has the exclusive rights to stream the NFL’s Thursday Night Football games (games are available in local markets where the teams are based). While many fans were impressed with Amazon’s season debut last Thursday (Chiefs-Chargers), some viewers, particularly those in areas where Internet service is spotty, reported frequent buffering and other technical issues with the picture.
The NFL, like other professional sports leagues, is aware of live streaming’s limitations. But league executives are equally aware that the top streaming companies (Apple, Amazon, ESPN+, etc.) today are overflowing with cash reserves and they want to use them to acquire exclusive sports rights which will help them generate more site traffic and subscribers.
That’s why Amazon got the TNF exclusive and it’s why Apple and Amazon (and maybe ESPN+) are the front runners to land the next NFL Sunday Ticket contract. With traditional media companies (such as DIRECTV) taking to the sidelines, the streaming money is too good for league executives to pass up.
And if you had issues with Amazon’s TNF, you probably will be disappointed to hear that ESPN+ has the exclusive rights to stream the week 8 matchup between the Denver Broncos and Jacksonville Jaguars on October 30. The game, which will be played at Wembley Stadium in London, will begin at 9:30 a.m. ET.
Unlike Amazon’s Prime Video service, which has the TNF games, there is no free trial for ESPN+.(The standalone sub is $9.99 a month.) However, if you live in the Denver or Jacksonville markets, the October 30 game will be available on one of your local channels.
The other good news here is that ESPN+ has done a solid job with live streaming to date (relatively speaking, of course). But the technology can still be unreliable so rural residents (and others) might have some issues with trying to watch the game.
The TV Answer Man will monitor this development and report back here with some streaming tips as we get closer to the game.
Until then, 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