The NFL broadcasting field is about to get a lot more crowded. And loud.
Following the success of ESPN’s Peyton and Eli Manning-led “Manningcast” and Paramount’s Nickelodeon-themed NFL playoff game (and its own experience developing alternate audio feeds for NFL games), Amazon is planning a major push into alternative broadcast streams for the upcoming season of NFL Thursday Night Football.
The tech giant said Monday that the hosts of Dude Perfect, the popular YouTube and social media trick shot personalities, will host an alternate stream this season.
Unlike previous seasons of TNF, which saw Amazon encourage alternate audio tracks (hosts included Andrea Kremer and Hannah Storm, former NFL scouts, and a variety of Twitch streamers), the Dude Perfect feed will include video of the guys doing challenges and attempting world record tricks in between plays, joined by special guests. The cast members of Dude Perfect include Tyler Toney, twins Cory and Coby Cotton, Garrett Hilbert, and Cody Jones.
And Amazon says that it is also developing additional alternate NFL streams to be announced later, so it isn’t done yet.
Amazon’s main Thursday Night Football booth will be led by Al Michaels and Kirk Herbstreit, but the development of alternate video feeds suggests that the tech giant has big ambitions for what it can deliver to viewers. In particular, the Dude Perfect team would seem to appeal to a younger, or at least more family-friendly feed that kids and parents could watch together.
This season is the first time that Amazon will have exclusive rights to Thursday Night Football, after having simulcast the games from broadcast partners in recent years (albeit with its own alternative audio feeds).
The rise of alternative NFL broadcasts comes amid a larger boom for NFL announcers, with names like Tom Brady, Troy Aikman and Joe Buck also among the announcers moving to new TV homes. But the Nickelodeon broadcasts (which included special effects and “slime” on the field) and the Manningcasts (which saw the Manning brothers joking with celebrity guests in-between plays) changed the game, with every network eyeing their own takes for their NFL packages.