Amazon picks off NFL Thursday Night from Twitter

FILE - In this Thursday, Dec. 1, 2016, file photo, Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten (82) is tackled by Minnesota Vikings free safety Harrison Smith (22) after making a reception during the second half of an NFL football game, in Minneapolis. The game was one of the NFL games that was streamed live on Twitter during the season. Amazon will stream 10 NFL games during the 2017 season in a deal with the league, replacing Twitter. Games will be available to members of its Prime loyalty program. As more people turn to streaming services for entertainment, demand for live sports streaming has been growing. (AP Photo/Andy Clayton-King, File)

NEW YORK — Amazon's new deal gives Prime Time football a whole new meaning.

The e-commerce powerhouse will stream NFL Thursday Night games this season via its Amazon Prime video service, replacing Twitter.

The live-streams of the games will be available to the estimated 65 million members of Amazon Prime, which costs $99 per year and also includes other perks like free videos, books and shipping.

That means that technically, the games won't be free to stream, but they will still be carried by broadcast networks CBS or NBC, as well as simultaneously on the NFL Network.

A person with knowledge of the agreement told The Associated Press on Wednesday that it's a one-year deal worth close to $50 million. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal has not been announced publicly.

That would be about five times what Twitter paid for the right to stream the games last year.

Twitter's reach last year for the 10 games was an average of about 2.7 million users.

Amazon has been building out its Prime Video streaming service to compete with rival services like Netflix or Hulu, neither of which stream sports live.

In a note to investors, R.W. Baird analyst Colin Sebastian said the deal is a boon for Prime's value, since live sports and events are attractive to advertisers even as other types of TV ad budgets are on the decline.

"Amazon continues to invest aggressively in its video portfolio, and we would expect additional live content partnerships to be announced in the year ahead," he wrote.

Amazon did not respond to a request for a comment. The Seattle company already works with the NFL on a documentary series on Prime Video called "All or Nothing," now entering its second season.

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