By Phillip Swann
The TV Answer Man –@tvanswerman
TV Answer Man, the 49ers are playing the Giants tonight. We are from New York and we have stayed Giants fans over the years. The game is on Thursday Night Football on Amazon streaming. Do you know if there’s a way to watch without having to get a Prime subscription? — Connie, Jacksonville, Florida.
Connie, Amazon’s Thursday Night Football (TNF) returns tonight for its second regular season game of 2023 with the New York Giants visiting the San Francisco 49ers at Levi’s Stadium in San Francisco. (Kickoff expected at 8:15 p.m. ET with pregame coverage starting at 7 p.m. ET.) This is Amazon’s second season as the exclusive carrier of the TNF games and it’s become a no-doubter that it’s a big hit for the etailer. The company says that 15.1 million viewers streamed in last week for the Eagles-Vikings game, according to Nielsen. That’s a 15 percent increase over last year’s best single-game TNF rating on Amazon, which was its first regular season contest. If you’ve been hoping for Amazon to fall on its face with TNF, and return to traditional broadcast channels, you can start a new hobby now.
So now that TNF is entrenched at Amazon, the question becomes: Do you have to pay to watch it? Well, Connie, there are actually four ways to watch Amazon’s TNF games without paying a dime.
1. Local channels
The game will air for free (with an antenna) in the home markets of the two teams playing. For example, the game tonight will be on Fox 5 (WNYW-TV) in New York and KTVU-TV in the San Francisco market.
2. Bars and restaurants
Amazon last year signed a multi-year agreement with DIRECTV to allow the satcaster to beam the TNF games to commercial venues, including bars and restaurants. You can read this article for more details on how to find a DIRECTV bar in your area.
3. Free trial.
Amazon offers a 30-day free trial to Amazon Prime. You could sign up today and watch the 49ers and Giants and four more weeks of games before you would have to pay. Just be sure to cancel prior to the end of the month if you don’t want to stay with Prime membership.
Just like last year, you can watch the TNF games for free on Twitch, the Amazon-owned gaming service.
While those are the free ways to watch the game, if want to subscribe, 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.)
Connie, 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