If you want to watch the AFC showdown between the Dolphins and Bengals tonight, you're going to need an internet connection.
Although most games throughout NFL history have been available on television, the NFL decided to take a step into the world of streaming this season by selling the Thursday night package to Amazon. What this means for fans is that you'll only have two options for watching the game: You can subscribe to Amazon Prime and stream the game on Amazon or you can subscribe to NFL+ and stream the game there.
The only way fans will be able to watch tonight's game on regular over-the-air television is if they live in either Cincinnati or Miami (Under NFL rules, all cable and streaming games must be available in the home markets of the two teams involved in the game).
Since this is the first season ever that Amazon will be exclusively streaming a game, now seems like a good time to give you a primer on how we got here and what they'll be offering.
Here's everything you need to know:
- Amazon will be airing 'Thursday Night Football' for the next 11 years. When the NFL finalized its new media rights deals in March 2021, one of the biggest surprises was Amazon. For the first time ever, an internet company won the exclusive rights to a package of games. Amazon is reportedly paying $1 billion per year for the rights to stream TNF thru the 2033 season. Amazon wasn't supposed to start streaming TNF until 2023, but Fox, who held the rights through the 2022 season, cut a deal with the company that allowed Amazon to start streaming the games this year. Amazon had been streaming Thursday games since 2017, but this is the first year they're getting the games exclusively.
- Who are the announcers? Amazon wanted to hit a home run with its announcer pairing, so the company went out and got two big names: Al Michaels and Kirk Herbstreit. On Michaels' end, his contract ran out at NBC, so Amazon pounced on him. As for Herbstreit, he's still with ESPN, but he has a clause in his contract that allows him to do NFL games for Amazon. The sideline reporter on Thursday nights will be Kaylee Hartung.
- Amazon will be giving you plenty of options: If you don't feel like listening to Herbstreit and Michaels, Amazon will have several other options. There will be a feed that includes "Prime Vision With Next Gen Stats," a feed with Dude Perfect and a Spanish-language feed.
- Amazon pregame show will feature some familiar faces. Amazon went on a hiring spree over the past few months to bring in the people who will be anchoring the pregame, postgame and halftime coverage. Richard Sherman, Andrew Whitworth and Ryan Fitzpatrick will be the former NFL players you see. Those three will join lead anchor Charissa Thompson while Taylor Rooks will serve as the feature reporter.
One thing you'll notice about "Thursday Night Football" this year is that the NFL loaded up the schedule. For a look at the entire Thursday night schedule, be sure to click here.