‘A key new pillar on the calendar for us’: NFL to play game on Black Friday for first time in 2023

Detroit Free Press

Prime Video is expanding its NFL footprint from Thursdays to Friday – for at least one game in 2023.

The league and Amazon announced Tuesday that the NFL’s first “Black Friday” game will be streamed the day after Thanksgiving on Nov. 24, 2023. Kickoff is expected to be at roughly 3 p.m. ET.

“A unique opportunity to create another day of football around a weekend that already celebrates football and family in a unique way,” said Hans Schroeder, NFL Media’s chief operating officer. “And on a day which is increasingly something that Amazon and their platform are so uniquely positioned to make even bigger.

“A key new pillar on the calendar for us. … We’re very excited.”

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The league expects the game to replicate the fairly recent addition of the third prime time contest on Thanksgiving night – meaning a unique matchup shared among teams as opposed to the annual afternoon games hosted by the Detroit Lions and Dallas Cowboys.

“It will be a game that I think we plan to rotate. It’s another national window, which we’re excited about,” Schroeder told USA TODAY Sports. “An opportunity to showcase a couple of additional teams.”

The clubs that will first meet on Black Friday will be revealed as part of next year’s schedule release in the spring.

As for whether your ability to shop for holiday deals on Amazon will be integrated into the viewing experience, probably not – at least not yet.

“That is a day when millions and millions of people visit our site. We will start with the customer first,” said Marie Donoghue, vice president of Global Sports Video, Amazon.

“So they are coming first and foremost to watch a football game. To the extent we can serve them and potentially delight them when they also have (to do) their shopping, obviously, that’s something we’ll work through with the NFL. But we will always start with the customer first.

“Primarily this is an opportunity to give millions of fans an extra NFL game on Black Friday.”

This season is Prime Video’s first serving as exclusive host of the league’s Thursday night lineup, and it’s also the NFL’s initial all-digital package.

According to Nielsen Media Research, the live streams in 2022 have averaged 10.8 million viewers – a 48% spike from the same point in the season last year.

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Follow USA TODAY Sports’ Nate Davis on Twitter @ByNateDavis.

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