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AI Is Coming to Amazon’s Thursday Night Football Broadcasts


In 2021, Amazon won the rights to be sole broadcaster of Thursday Night Football, and the show has been a success: The inaugural season nabbed a Sports Emmy Award for outstanding interactive experience, event coverage. Now, with the new season kicking off Sept. 14, Amazon is looking to step up its game with the help of artificial intelligence. 

Amazon's shield-like Thursday Night Football logo.

Thursday Night Football will have some data-forward AI additions this season. 

Amazon

The tech giant has trained AI models to display viewer-friendly data at critical points during gameplay and hopes the new overlays will bring viewers closer to the game.

“It’s about using data to tell a deeper story and to bring our fans insights so they understand the game better,” Betsy Riley, a Prime Video senior coordinating producer, told TechCrunch during an interview.

According to Riley, these new AI models aren’t just going to be “math on the screen.” For instance, if a team is setting up for a high-risk, high-reward play, Amazon’s AI overlays could give the viewer an idea of the play’s chances of success or failure based on which members of the team are playing, who’s coaching and what members of the opposing team are on the field. 

Fans interested in seeing the data-driven overlays will be able to find them within Prime Vision, an alternate Thursday Night Football Broadcast focused more on real-time strategy and data. A traditional Thursday Night Football broadcast will still be available for watching without the overlays. 

AI overlays and data-forward broadcasts aren’t the only thing the Thursday Night Football audience will encounter this season. Amazon is planning a Black Friday broadcast on Nov. 24, which will give viewers access to exclusive deals.