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Amazon Grabs 'Thursday Night Football' Streaming Rights, Another Blow For Twitter

Amazon Grabs 'Thursday Night Football' Streaming Rights, Another Blow For Twitter, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) is the latest non-conventional video streaming company to take a crack at NFL "Thursday Night Football."

On Tuesday, Amazon secured the rights to stream 10 "Thursday Night Football" games this season.

Last year, Twitter Inc (NYSE: TWTR) dipped its toes into the live sports streaming arena by buying rights to stream Thursday night games for $10 million. Amazon reportedly paid an estimated $50 million for this year’s games.

Amazon, like Twitter, is looking to test the waters on live sports streaming, one of the last remaining strongholds of traditional cable and network TV. For NFL fans with Amazon Prime memberships, the deal is great news, and access to the streams will be free of charge. For others, Prime Video membership costs $8.99 per month. Last year’s Twitter streams were free for all users.

See Also: Baseball Is Just The Beginning: Expect Facebook To Go After More Sports To Grow Video Segment

The good news is that fans still have other streaming options. The terms of the Amazon deal allow Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) to stream the games to its customers and CBS Corporation (NYSE: CBS) and Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ: CMCSA) to stream games which air on their networks.

The losers of the Amazon deal may be the other non-traditional streaming services that were reportedly in the bidding war, including Twitter, Facebook Inc (NASDAQ: FB) and Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ: GOOGL). The bidding war seems to have been hotly contested, suggesting the price for "Thursday Night Football" streaming rights may skyrocket in coming years.

Benchmark analyst Dan Kurnos told Benzinga Amazon probably overpaid for "Thursday Night Football" rights, but the company is hoping it can make up the difference by expanding its Prime reach. In addition, Kurnos sees Amazon as a major long-term threat to Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) if Amazon continues to inflate content costs.

In a Twitter poll, 63 percent of respondents say Amazon winning the rights to Thursday Night Football is a blow to Twitter.

Shares of Amazon are up another 53.8 percent in the past year to new all-time highs, while Twitter shares are down 14.6 percent.

Amazon has purchased rights to stream Thursday Night Football (Prime members only). Is this a blow to Twitter? AMZN $TWTR #TNF

— (@Benzinga) April 5, 2017


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