Amazon Ups the Game with AI for Thursday Night Football

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Amazon’s Prime Video is preparing for its second year as the exclusive rights holder to NFL’s Thursday Night Football (TNF), and they’re not holding back on utilizing the power of artificial intelligence (AI) to enhance the viewing experience. With an array of AI-driven features set to roll out this season, fans can look forward to a more immersive and analytically rich experience as they tune in to watch their favorite teams battle it out. Amazon introduced AI to TNF last year, and following their first Sports Emmy award in May, they’re gearing up to bring even more innovation to the sports streaming landscape.

AI and machine learning (ML) are increasingly becoming a game-changer in sports broadcasting, allowing viewers to delve deeper into game analytics and gain a better understanding of what’s unfolding on the field. "We don’t want to just put math on the screen,” says Betsy Riley, senior coordinating producer at Prime Video. "It’s about using data to tell a deeper story and to bring our fans insights so that they understand the game better." The new AI features will live within Prime Vision with Next Gen Stats—TNF’s weekly alternate stream that features various graphic overlays on the screen during plays, providing real-time stats and analysis for fans.

AI-Driven Innovations Transforming NFL Viewing on Amazon Prime Video

Amazon’s Prime Video platform is preparing for its second year as the sole rights holder for the NFL’s Thursday Night Football (TNF). This year, they’re planning to introduce a variety of AI-based features to enhance the viewer’s experience.

Sports Broadcasting in the AI Age

A few years back, the idea of employing Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) in sports broadcasting would have seemed far-fetched. Fast forward to today, these technologies are not only involved, but they’re transforming the way fans engage with sports. AI and ML allow viewers to delve deeper into analytics and better understand the dynamics of the game.

Betsy Riley, senior coordinating producer at Prime Video, explained, "It’s about using data to tell a deeper story and to bring our fans insights so that they understand the game better."

The AI features will be housed within Prime Vision with Next Gen Stats, TNF’s weekly alternate stream. These features are set to launch on September 14, the start of the 2023 season.

Defensive Alerts and Prime Targets

One of the new features, Defensive Alerts, employs Amazon’s in-house ML neural network to predict player movements, such as when defensive players are about to rush the opposing quarterback. The system, trained on 35,000 plays, uses players’ coordinate data, their relationship to each other and their acceleration to make these predictions.

On the other hand, Prime Targets highlights players that are open for a pass. The receiver’s separation from defenders gets tracked in real-time, making the viewing experience more engaging.

Four Down Territory and Field Goal Target Zones

Amazon is also introducing a feature to help viewers understand the decision-making process behind fourth-down plays. The Four Down Territory feature mimics an NFL analytics coordinator, showing viewers when a team should attempt a fourth down and the likelihood of success.

Field Goal Target Zones is another feature that will display multiple lines on the screen, indicating the probability of a successful field goal at each point.

Key Plays and the First Black Friday NFL Game

Key Plays is a feature that enables fans to view in-game highlights and crucial moments, whether watching live or streaming on demand. This feature leverages AI and ML to provide a comprehensive overview of the field happenings.

Moreover, Amazon and the NFL announced that Prime Video would exclusively stream the NFL’s first Black Friday game on November 24, with the Miami Dolphins playing against the New York Jets. This game will be available to watch for free, even for non-subscribers, and Amazon plans to promote exclusive shopping deals during the broadcast.

HDR Video Quality Enhancement

Amazon Prime Video is also enhancing the visual quality of TNF broadcasts by introducing HDR streaming. This feature will offer a more immersive viewing experience with greater contrast and vivid colors. The HDR streaming will be automatically available on any HDR-enabled device.


Amazon’s AI-driven innovations showcase the potential of technology in enhancing sports broadcasting. These features not only enrich the viewing experience but also provide deeper insights into the game, making it more engaging for the fans. It will be interesting to see how these tech advancements influence the future of sports broadcasting.

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