Amazon has pegged DraftKings as a Thursday Night Football sponsor, the sportsbook operator announced Tuesday morning. The “multi-year collaboration” makes DraftKings the exclusive odds provider for the weekly program on Prime Video.
“The NFL season is the most active time of year for our customers, so collaborating with one of the world’s leading technology brands in order to offer engaging content to viewers of TNF on Prime Video is a tremendous opportunity for DraftKings,” Stephanie Sherman, chief marketing officer of DraftKings, said in a press release.
Amazon takes on TNF
Starting this fall, Amazon will be the exclusive broadcast provider of 15 Thursday Night Football games. The NFL season opener and three Thanksgiving games are the only Thursday NFL games that won’t air exclusively on Amazon Prime, and Week 18 doesn’t include any Thursday games.
Thursday’s game between the Los Angeles Chargers and Kansas City Chiefs will be the first Thursday Night Football game exclusively broadcast on Amazon Prime. Previously, Amazon Prime had been a streaming provider of TNF.
NEWS: @Amazon has tapped @DraftKings to be the exclusive pre-game and in-game odds provider for Thursday Night Football.
The deal, signed Monday, could lead to alternate betting streams down the line. More details @Sportico 👇https://t.co/8eIj7BJ9p0
— Eben Novy-Williams (@novy_williams) September 13, 2022
Longtime broadcaster Al Michaels will handle TNF play-by-play duties. Michaels is known for subtly referencing betting odds during games, although with widespread sports betting legalization across the country (and the NFL having multiple official sports betting partners), he no longer has to be subtle about his betting remarks.
Michaels spoke about the widespread acceptance of sports betting before the 2021 NFL season, when he still worked at NBC.
“We’re in a brave new world of sorts,” Michaels said. “I’ve always had fun … by being the guy who could play a little bit of the rascal role, because the perception of the fan was that the league didn’t want any references to gambling, so what I would do, obviously, through the years is I would come in the back door, sometimes I would come in the side door, and now I guess they’re allowing me to come in the front door, which is not as much fun as kind of doing it subtly.”
Michaels will call games alongside Kirk Herbstreit, ESPN’s lead college football analyst. Herbstreit will remain a college football announcer with ABC’s Saturday Night Football and a member of ESPN’s College GameDay.
Odds create discussion
Both announcers, as well as the pre-game and halftime crews, will use DraftKings odds when making picks or analyzing the game from a sports wagering perspective. While the odds likely won’t be the main focus of broadcasts, they’ll be used as a discussion point each week, especially before games begin.
“We are thrilled to collaborate with DraftKings to bring fans more insights and excitement as part of the TNF viewing experience,” Danielle Carney, head of NFL Sales for Amazon Ads, said in a release. “DraftKings content will contribute to lively pre-game discussions, fan engagement and, perhaps, some bold predictions from our on-air talent.”
The two sides will also “collaborate on TNF-themed offerings,” including same-game parlays.