Amazon NFL games are just the first steps

Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share

10 April 2017

There is more to come from Twitter, Google and Facebook

Another sure sign TV isn’t like it once was. Amazon is paying $50 million to air the NFL’s Thursday night package next season. Alongside the games already being broadcast on CBS and the NFL Network. What does the Amazon NFL partnership mean?

That tech companies now have permission to revolutionize television.

“Amazon’s brand is about easy. Facebook is about forming a community. Twitter is about opinion. Google is about access. All of which have permission to air NFL games in today’s climate. The Amazon NFL partnership feels right.”

 

Amazon NFLTwitter, which aired a small NFL package last season, bid for the NFL business. So did Google and Facebook. Those tech companies know they now have brand permission to air live TV and original programming. That wasn’t the case just a few years ago.

Brand permission is a powerful idea. If you have it, then you can expand your business because the preference is about the brand. If you don’t, ventures fall flat because audiences don’t believe it. Kmart didn’t have permission to buy Sears because neither brand meant anything that made sense to audiences. FedEx had permission to buy Kinkos because their brands were both about office duties away from home.

The Amazon NFL deal is just the beginning

In the current TV landscape, the tech companies own permission to enter. We don’t think twice about watching programs through the internet. Amazon’s brand is about easy. Facebook is about forming a community. Twitter is about opinion. Google is about access. All of which have permission to air NFL games in today’s climate. The Amazon NFL partnership feels right.

That wasn’t the case even 10 years ago. Netflix was the only brand to hold that permission, even if it stumbled out of the gate. Once House of Cards aired, the dam broke. Amazon developed Amazon Prime, which gave customers exclusive access to content (and free shipping). We don’t think twice about watching a Sneaky Pete on Amazon.

The TV networks should be worried. Last year’s Twitter NFL package was simply proof of the concept. The Amazon NFL agreement is just the start. The current TV contracts are about to expire. Do you really think the NFL is only looking at the networks? In the age of NFL over-saturation, going digital is smart. Soon, Amazon Prime members will have exclusive live content that includes the NFL or any other sports league.

Who’s to say Google won’t soon air the NBA? Don’t laugh. Just a few years ago, the idea of NFL games airing through Amazon or Twitter were laughable too.

See more posts in the following related categories: Amazon Facebook Google Netflix NFL Twitter

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