NFL looking to own a new Black Friday time slot – Sports Business Journal

Football almost felt “like an afterthought” in Amazon Prime Video’s broadcast of the first NFL Black Friday game, according to Talib Visram of FAST COMPANY. The 90-minute pregame show was a “whirl of emotions.” Seconds into the broadcast, the hosting team started the “first of many bits,” which included “screening an animated, historical explainer that delves into the history of Black Friday.” There was “no structural integrity” to the broadcast. It was “all over the place, an assault on six senses — the five regular ones, and a new one that senses QR codes.” There were “ads throughout,” as brands “can’t resist a made-up holiday (or NFL football), so even competitors can’t resist this opportunity.” Many showed “on-screen QR codes” that took fans to the “Amazon app and right to the specific deal.” But the codes did not “last long on the screen.” The first “product drop” was for a Hogwarts Express Lego train set, with Prime Video’s Richard Sherman “dressed in a Harry Potter cape and scarf.” The deal would be “‘unlocked,’ offering 30% off,” if Prime Video’s Ryan Fitzpatrick could “make four accurate football tosses in 30 seconds.” The start of the game itself was a “mostly welcome respite from Amazon’s runaway consumption,” with announcers Al Michaels and Kirk Herbstreit “playing it straight and the chyron no longer urging viewers to ‘shop the game.’” But as soon as the first ad break hit, there was a “flurry of ads that feel like a who’s who of capitalism” (FAST COMPANY, 11/25).
PLANTING THE FLAG: THE ATHLETIC’s Richard Deitsch noted the NFL in staging a game on Black Friday for the first time ever is going to “establish yet another day on the sports calendar that belongs to them.” NFL Media EVP & COO Hans Schroeder said that the league has been “looking at the potential of a Black Friday game for a couple of years.” He said that Amazon delivered a “proof of concept for its broadcasts last year that suggested it would fit for a Black Friday broadcast.” Schroeder said that “multiple teams have reached out to be part of a Black Friday game next year” and the NFL’s focus will “likely rotate the game to other teams beyond having the game permanently placed in the New York/New Jersey area.” He added that the league “looked at different start time options but nothing later than 3 p.m. ET.” Prime Video VP & Global Head of Sports Jay Marine said that he “believes the Black Friday game can become an annual tradition” for the company (THE ATHLETIC, 11/24).
MESSY SITUATION: THE INFORMATION’s Martin Peers noted two of the NFL’s three Thanksgiving games “were available to watch on streaming services” without the benefit of cable TV. But Packers-Lions was on Fox, which “doesn’t have a paid-subscription streaming service,” so fans “couldn’t stream it without a cable-type service.” Paramount+ had the Commanders-Cowboys game in the late afternoon, while Peacock aired the evening game, 49ers-Seahawks. Whether Disney CEO Bob Iger, or any other TV exec, will be able to “come up with a solution to the Thanksgiving day NFL problem is far from certain.” The challenge is “working out the economics in a way that suits everyone.” No single service will get all the rights to the NFL, so “at best a hub would allow viewers to access different services through one platform.” But there is “value for everyone, including consumers, in working this out” (THE INFORMATION, 11/24).

Amazon’s Dolphins-Jets game on Black Friday almost felt like an afterthought to some given the heavy lean in to the shopping hollidayGetty Images

Dealmaking Wednesday on deck, strong F1 ratings in Vegas, a sustainable Swiss Olympics, end of NBA IST group play and alleged AI writing at SI.
<p>The head of Amazon’s global sports Jay Marine joins the pod this week to discuss Amazon’s sports strategy and how the company uses sports to grow its Prime Video business. Marine opens up to hosts Andrew Marchand and John Ourand about Amazon’s NBA negotiations, saying that Amazon wants to have meaningful games – including playoffs – on Amazon Prime. Marine also provides updates on Amazon’s negotiations to get NASCAR rights and CFP rights, and offers a preview to what viewers can expect during the first Black Friday game. Marchand and Ourand offer their picks for who is up in sports media, and who is down in sports media.</p>
Sports Business Journal's SBJ Presents podcast, sponsored by Citrin Cooperman, features industry insights and perspectives on the issues impacting the business of sports. In this episode, we'll explore the latest takes on NIL. Joining us, Doug Cammarano, Partner in Citrin Cooperman’s Business Management and Family Office Practice, and Sports Industry Leader, Roman Oben, NFL VP of Football Development, and Brian Socolow, Partner and Co-chair of the Sports Practice Group at Loeb & Loeb.
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