TV Answer Man, I read your story about DIRECTV showing Thursday Night Football in bars and restaurants. Is that the only way to watch the games in a bar or restaurant? I have a friend who manages a bar. Could she show the games just using a regular old Amazon Prime subscription? Or is there another cable or satellite operator that has the games? — Ben, Salem, Oregon. 

Ben, 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.

But is that the only way to watch the TNF games in a bar or restaurant?

Answer: No!

Dish and Cox Cable also have deals with Amazon to provide Thursday Night Football games to their business accounts, which include bars, restaurants and other commercial establishments.

See Amazon’s Best-Selling Streaming Devices!

We don’t know how many bars or restaurants are providing the games using Dish or Cox, or which ones, but the number is likely far less than DIRECTV which has used the Sunday Ticket to build a large network of commercial partners over the years. However, if your neighborhood watering hole has Dish or Cox, you might want to check it out. And if the game isn’t on tonight, let them know that it’s available in their business account lineup.

But that’s not all, Ben. Amazon says a bar or restaurant could use, as you put it, a regular old Amazon Prime account to show the games as well. According to Amazon’s Community Help page, “no special subscriptions or licensing is needed” to show the TNF broadcasts in a commercial venue.

Of course, there’s no guarantee that the stream will go smoothly; the feeds from DIRECTV, Cox and Dish are more secure and technically advanced. But if you’re a bar owner, it’s worth a try. Just be prepared to buy your patrons a round or two if Mr. Buffering shows up.

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

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— Phillip Swann