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DirecTV to simulcast Amazon’s Thursday football for businesses

The pact aims to help businesses avoid access and latency issues caused by the shift to streaming.

The pact aims to help businesses avoid access and latency issues caused by the shift to streaming.

(Logo courtesy DirecTV/Graphic designed by The Desk)

Satellite provider DirecTV says it has reached an agreement with tech giant Amazon to simulcast Thursday Night Football games for its business clients.

Starting August 25, DirecTV will begin airing Amazon Prime Video’s Thursday Night Football telecasts in real time on satellite channel 9526.

The deal will resolve an issue where some restaurants, bars and other businesses complained that latency issues with streaming services would prevent them from offering their patrons access to Thursday Night Football games.

“The sports media landscape continues to evolve rapidly, and the focus on delivering a great experience to our entire range of customers must remain at the center of that evolution,” Rob Thun, DirecTV’s Chief Content Officer, said in a statement e-mailed to reporters on Tuesday. “This agreement between Amazon and DirecTV comes at an important time when more streaming companies are obtaining exclusive rights to marquee sports programming and fans want to cheer on their teams at home and while out at bars, restaurants and other businesses with family, friends and co-workers.”

Last year, Amazon agreed to pay the National Football League (NFL) around $1 billion per year to lock up streaming rights to the Thursday night telecasts. For the first year, Amazon’s Prime Video streamed the games while they simulcast on Fox and the NFL Network; this year, the games become exclusive to Amazon.

Only customers of DirecTV for Business will have the ability to tune in to Thursday football games using a traditional television source. The companies did not reveal financial or other terms of the agreement. It was not clear if the NFL was a party to the deal between Amazon and DirecTV.

The pact between DirecTV and Amazon will cover the final pre-season football game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Houston Texans streaming on August 25 as well as every regular season Thursday night game through December 29.

DirecTV was spun off from AT&T last year. The new company is jointly owned between AT&T and TPG Capital, a private equity firm.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is the publisher of The Desk and reports on the business and policy matters involving the broadcast television, streaming video and radio industries. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, Disney-ABC, Tribune Broadcasting and McNaughton Newspapers. Matthew is based in Northern California, has won numerous awards in the field of journalism, and is a member of IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors).