Amazon Continuing To Ramp Up Coverage Around "TNF"
The biggest changes to Amazon’s Megacast coverage of “Thursday Night Football,” which begins this week with Buccaneers-Bears, will be the launch of in-game, on-demand replays through its X-Ray feature and more programming developed for Twitch in the run-up to the game. The game on Amazon Prime, however, essentially will have a similar look and feel to last year. “These are things that you really can only do in an OTT environment,” said Amazon Dir of Global Live Sports Production Jared Stacy. “From a content perspective, it gives fans more ways to engage with the broadcast and with the game.” Amazon will continue to provide several announcer options. Prime subscribers can watch the traditional Fox Sports-produced telecast while Hannah Storm and Andrea Kremer return for their third season in an all-female booth. A Spanish-language feed from Fox Deportes also will be available. This year, Amazon added a “Scout’s Feed” with Fox Sports host Joy Taylor alongside NFL Network personalities Bucky Brooks and Daniel Jeremiah. “I’m really excited to add NFL scouts,” Stacy said. “This is going to be an analytical approach that is going to appeal to hardcore football fans who have embraced next-gen stats.” Amazon’s live next-gen statistics feature, through X-Ray, is returning, and will now include in-game replays controlled by Prime users.
GETTING PREPARED: Amazon opted to bring back its pregame show “NFL Next,” but with a wrinkle. Instead of leading into the game, Amazon will produce the studio show Tuesdays at 8pm with Kay Adams, Chris Long, James Koh and newcomer Andrew Hawkins. The biggest changes this year comes on Twitch, where Prime Video and NFL Films are producing more shows earlier in the week to help market “TNF.” Kyle Long and Hawkins will host “The NFL Comment Box” Mondays at 2:00pm ET -- a show where they interact with NFL fans. On Wednesdays at 6:00pm ET, Kyle Long and Chad Johnson will host “The NFL Machine,” a show that uses programming from the league’s archive. “Twitch has a younger demographic with different consumption patterns,” Stacy said. “We want to meet fans where they are. By offering a feed there and making it interactive in a way that younger fans are used to consume content, we’re hopefully going to add to the audience.” Amazon will use Hawkins on Twitch during the game where he will join Cari Champion and Chris Long or Broncos LB Von Miller, who is not playing this season because of an ankle injury. “You don’t want to recreate what we’ve done,” Stacy said of Amazon's approach. “You’re looking to find programming that appeals to different fan bases. ... Just being able to offer a broader selection adds value.”