Amazon ‘Thursday Night Football’ released another sign that Jeff Bezos’ tentacles are all over the NFL
Amazon returns to the NFL Thursday night with the Los Angeles Rams facing the Seattle Seahawks, the start of its 2021 Thursday Night Football TV shows on Amazon Prime.
It’s not his full dive – just more of the piggyback arrangement that started last year.
Fox shows also begin Thursday night, as well as the NFL Network shows that have been running since September 16.
Next year, however, Amazon Prime Video will have the exclusive rights to 15 “Thursday Night Football” games per year until the 2032 season – the $ 10 billion deal they struck earlier this year.
The commitment to Amazon is a big step for the league, dedicating one of its prime-time broadcasts to just one streaming site. It’s also another milestone in the relationship between the NFL and one of the most powerful men in the world – Amazon owner Jeff Bezos.
It has been reported that the league would like this to become an official marriage, with Bezos winding up an NFL owner, possibly from the Denver Broncos.
But he already has more influence in NFL affairs than any of the 32 franchise owners.
Bezos makes the NFL calendar.
His company, Amazon Web Services, takes the league’s data and scenarios and comes up with a formula the league now uses to dictate games to a 17-game schedule.
“We are able to use the AWS cloud,” said Mike North, NFL vice president of broadcast planning, in an interview on an Amazon corporate video describing the process. “Each of these lines is a different AWS computer. Each of those 3,000 AWS computers can work on a different schedule, all at the same time, all under the same rules, and all talking to each other about what works and what doesn’t.
“When we ask the computer to go up and search in infinite space, not only does it have to do which of these games is eligible for which of these slots and which of these stages is not available due to various conflicts, and what are our travel considerations… all we ask her to consider, in this consideration list, is competitive matchmaking.
“The way we do it is with a competitive scoring system where we put a penalty on all the things we don’t want to see, it’s both from a team perspective and from a team perspective. television. “
They do this using Bezos’ computers.
The league has the final say on its schedule. But NFL executives are excited to hand the process over to Amazon.
“The ability to work with the AWS team to get our software running on the AWS cannot be underestimated, in the sense of being able to access hundreds, if not thousands of machines on a one-to-one basis. daily, nightly, hourly, just IT the power involved in it allows us to reverse scenarios and change the way we think bigger and analyze more, but also react to things, ”said Onnie Bose, vice president of broadcast for the NFL.
Bezos’ tentacles are all over the NFL.
Amazon provides the league with next-generation stats, which takes data and uses it to give coaches, broadcasters and fans details about game calls, routes, and other analytical information.
According to the league, the Next Gen Stats tracking system, using Amazon Web Services, “captures player data such as location, speed, distance traveled and acceleration at a rate of 10 times per second, and tracks individual movements in a few centimeters. Raw data is used to automate player engagement reports, calculate performance metrics, and derive advanced statistics through machine learning (ML) on AWS.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell loves having Amazon Web Services as the league’s business partner.
“One of the keys to our success is having great partners, and AWS is one example,” he said. “We like to partner with smart people who have great skills, and we have that in our partnership with AWS.
Amazon’s influence over the NFL doesn’t appear to be slowing down. They would be the frontrunners to acquire the old DirecTV NFL Sunday Ticket package, at a cost of up to $ 2.5 billion.
In Europe, Amazon acquired the rights to broadcast NFL games.
With all this power and influence in the league, why would Jeff Bezos want to be something as common as an NFL owner?
You can hear Thom Loverro on The Kevin Sheehan Show podcast.