Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Amazon's Thursday Night Football Broadcast Comes With One Major Exclusion

By The Daily Upside – Sep 22, 2022 at 8:00PM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

Amazon's first-ever exclusive NFL broadcast on Thursday checked all the boxes of a typical televised football game: pregame and half-time studio...

For more crisp and insightful business and economic news, subscribe to The Daily Upside newsletter. It's completely free and we guarantee you'll learn something new every day.

Amazon's first-ever exclusive NFL broadcast on Thursday checked all the boxes of a typical televised football game: pregame and half-time studio shows, the iconic voice of Al Michaels in the announcing booth, and even new and undeniably hummable theme music.

But one key piece was missing. Due to Amazon's ban on ads promoting wine, beer, and spirits in the US, its TNF broadcast came sans the typical deluge of Bud Light and Michelob Ultra commercials -- presumably prompting lager-swilling football fanatics everywhere to ask: wazzzuuup with this broadcast?

A Prohibition on Beer (Ads)

Beer advertisements and NFL broadcasts go together like beer and pretzels. Or beer and cheese. Or beer and bratwurst. Or, well, you get the idea. But across all of its verticals, Amazon dictates "Ad content must not encourage, glamorize, or depict excessive consumption of alcohol," according to its advertising guidelines.

Forgoing the familiar commercials didn't dampen the broadcast's success. The game drew 13 million viewers, according to Nielsen data, and Amazon says another 2.3 million viewers watched the simulcast on Twitch, the popular streaming service it owns (the game was available for free on both platforms). That's slightly off the 16.4 million average audience size of last year's TNF games, which were simulcast by Fox's broadcast network and the NFL Network. Still, Amazon is missing out on the gut-busting sums typically paid by beer advertisers -- which may be a bitter IPA-like sip to swallow given the exorbitant sums it paid for NFL rights:

  • Beer companies have spent $60 million on TV commercials in the past two weeks, with nearly 70% occurring during NFL broadcasts, according to measurement firm The NFL does retain direct control over a small slate of ads sold during games, meaning beer commercials may be able to still technically appear.
  • Amazon is reportedly shelling out roughly $1.2 billion per season in its 11-year deal with the NFL, which started this year. The e-commerce company has promised advertisers 12.6 million viewers each game, The Wall Street Journal reports, and is comparing the slight ratings dip to when the NFL first moved to cable with ESPN in 1987.

Designated Ad Driver: Thursday Night Football notwithstanding, prepare to see more promos for alcohol just about everywhere else. Drizly, the alcohol-delivery service purchased by Uber for $1.1 billion last year, is the latest retail brand to launch an in-house ad network. The aptly named Drizly Ads will focus on a highly targeted and data-driven approach for marketers -- likely ditching the typical brand awareness campaigns conducted by alcohol companies. In other words, expect even more hard seltzer and canned cocktail brands to bubble up to the mainstream.


Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning analyst team.

Stock Advisor Returns
S&P 500 Returns

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 10/05/2022.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.