Are you ready for some football? The NFL has been experimenting with their primetime matchups, most recently by streaming the games directly on Twitter feeds in 2017, and, now, the organization is switching things up by partnering with one of the fastest growing platforms around. Amazon Prime, Twitch, and the NFL are teaming up for Thursday Night Football with 11 games, starting with the Minnesota Vikings vs the L.A. Rams tonight at 8:20 PM EST. The games will be free to watch on Twitch.tv/PrimeVideo.
In celebration of this new partnership, there are a few new functions coming to the Twitch platform:
- Extensions – Extensions bring interactive functionality to online viewers in the form of a computer screen overlay that can be interacted with just by pointing-and-clicking on it. With the TNF Extension that will be coming soon after the 9/27 game, viewers can access all of a team's stats in real time, such as NFL standings and Team Stat Pages. In addition, viewers will be able to make game and quarter play guesses with a leaderboard tracking how well they know their stuff.
- Co-Streaming – The Twitch broadcast on 9/27 will feature Co-Streaming with popular Twitch streamer GoldGlove. Co-Streaming allows GoldGlove to use his own commentary as he streams the game to his community, resulting in the ultimate fan-as-commentator experience.
- New Global Emotes – The live viewers in Twitch chat have access to an array of NFL “emotes,” which are the emojis native to Twitch. These emotes include every team logo and some original emotes Twitch created to celebrate touchdowns, flags, catching and running with the ball, and more.
Over on Amazon Prime Video, there will be a handful of new features outside of the Twitch experience. The X-Ray feature, which is typically used during shows to tell you what characters and actors are on screen at a given time, will now provide live stats and player information during the Thursday Night Football broadcasts. You can even use the play history function to look up the plays you missed, or shop during the game for team gear. Alternate language audio for TNF games are also available on Amazon Prime Video. The TNF broadcasts will be available in over 200 countries and territories.
This is a massive crossover for Twitch that gives its users added value and also enhances the legitimacy of the platform's broadcasting potential. Social experiences during live television, especially sports, are highly entertaining and Twitch is one of the premier destinations for such a thing. This new venture coupled with recent television marathons paints a wonderful future for the platform.