Amazon paid a reported $1.2 billion for the rights to its own weekday NFL game, Thursday Night Football (TNF), which is set to live stream on Amazon Prime Thursday nights starting in week 2 of the 2022 season.
With the exception of local fans in the home and away team’s media markets who can watch Thursday Night Football on TV, the Thursday Night Football franchise is now a streaming exclusive.
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However, local NFL fans can still watch the Thursday Night Football broadcast with Kirk Herbstreit and Al Michaels without signing up for Amazon Prime.
Local affiliates in the markets where the two featured teams play will carry the Amazon broadcast.
To quote Sports Media Watch:
Amazon will be the exclusive home of 15 Thursday night games per year, sharing them only with over-the-air affiliates in the participating markets.Sports Media watch
This means that the Thursday Night Football broadcasts will also air on local channels like FOX, CBS, NBC, and ABC. If you are in-market for one of the team’s participating in the game, you can watch Thursday Night Football with cable, an air antenna, or on a live TV streaming service without taking the step of opening the Amazon app.
These streaming services will carry Thursday Night Football for local fans
Note: you still have the option of watching TNF on Amazon, even if you live in the same market as one of the teams.
So, what we have here is a classic in-market vs. out-of-market distinction for watching Thursday Night Football, not a streaming exclusive. This means that if you are an in-market fan, meaning you live in the same city as your NFL team, you can watch TNF on DIRECTV STREAM, Hulu + Live TV, fuboTV, and YouTube TV, all of which carry every local channel, regardless of location.
Out-of-market fans need Prime to watch Thursday Night Football
Since Amazon is no longer sharing its rights for TNF with NBC or NFL Network, if you live out-of-market for the teams that are featured in the game, then the only option is to watch on Prime.
Thursday Night Football TV schedule 2022 + Local affiliates
|Week||Date||Home Team||Road Team||Home Affiliate||Road Affiliate|
|10||Thursday, Nov. 10||Atlanta Falcons||Carolina Panthers||WAGA-TV (Fox 5)||The Panthers Television Network|
|11||Thursday, Nov. 17||Tennessee Titans||Green Bay Packers||WKRN-TV (ABC 2)|
|13||Thursday, Dec. 1||Buffalo Bills||New England Patriots||WBZ-TV (CBS 4)|
|14||Thursday, Dec. 8||Las Vegas Raiders||Los Angeles Rams||KABC-TV (ABC 7)|
|15||Thursday, Dec. 15||San Francisco 49ers||Seattle Seahawks||KPIX-TV (CBS 5)||KCPQ (Fox 13)|
|16||Thursday, Dec. 22||Jacksonville Jaguars||New York Jets||WJAX-TV (Fox 47)|
|17||Thursday, Dec. 29||Dallas Cowboys||Tennessee Titans||KTVT (CBS 11)||WKRN-TV (ABC 2)|
Let’s count our blessings that TNF isn’t a streaming exclusive game.
These types of games have been a staple of the 2022 MLB season, with Apple, Peacock, YouTube, and Amazon all messing with the viewing routines of baseball fans. Yankee fans have been consistently irate over the YES Network blackouts in favor of Prime.
Leaving the TNF games to air on a local channel in each market is the right thing to do, even if it happened by accident.