The National Football League is on the verge of signing new rights deals with media partners that could see Amazon.com Inc . carry many games exclusively and TV networks pay as much as double their current rate, people familiar with the matter said.
New agreements could be in place as early as next week, the people said. The television deals for the league’s Sunday and Monday franchises with Fox, CBS, NBC and ESPN are likely to run for as long as 11 years, they said.
ESPN’s deal would go into effect after the 2021-22 season while the Fox, CBS and NBC agreements would kick in after the 2022-23 season.
A deal with Amazon would result in a significant number of Thursday night games exclusively on its Prime Video platform and represent the league’s deepest foray into streaming, some of the people said. Those games wouldn’t be available on traditional television outside of the local markets of the two teams playing, they said.
Amazon has become an aggressive bidder for sports rights here and abroad. The company already has a relationship with the NFL as it has held streaming rights for Thursday night football since 2017. Those games have also been televised by the league-owned NFL Network and most recently by the Fox network, whose parent Fox Corp. shares common ownership with News Corp, the parent company of Wall Street Journal publisher Dow Jones & Co.