For the First Time Prime Video Will Offer 1080P HDR Coverage of Thursday Night Football

Amazon Prime Video
(Image credit: Amazon Prime Video)

NEW YORK—Prime Video’s Thursday Night Football (TNF) coverage will be returning on September 14 with a number of new enhancements, including native 1080p HDR picture quality, Key Plays, and the first NFL Black Friday game on November 24.

The 1080p HDR feed will mark the first time that TNF has been delivered in HDR or high dynamic range, which offers a greater contrast between light and dark, and more vivid colors. 

Key tech infrastructure for the coverage will include TNF’s production fleet of eight mobile units anchored by “Prime One,” the command center that produces each game in native High Dynamic Range (HDR) video and Dolby surround sound audio. 

The TNF arsenal of equipment also features 50+ cameras and aerial technology covering every inch of the field and angle of action, Amazon reported. 

Amazon said that Prime Video will be able to produce and deliver TNF in native High Dynamic Range (HDR) for the first time using its arsenal of next-generation production equipment, unparalleled live streaming technology, and a direct-to-consumer delivery that is not constrained by legacy systems present in traditional broadcasting, Amazon reported. 

The games will be streamed with a combination of Prime Video and AWS proprietary, end-to-end livestreaming solution that delivers ultra-low latency, eliminates drift, ensures synchronization, and delivers streams with unparalleled quality from the stadium to the screen in 10 seconds or less. This delivery speed matches—and often surpasses—what fans receive from traditional cable and broadcast networks, Amazon said. 

Another new feature for the TNF 2023 coverage will be “Key Plays.” 

Key Plays leverages artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to provide fans with an ability to view in-game highlights and key moments on demand while watching TNF on Prime Video. A bank of pivotal moments builds as the game progresses and offers viewers immediate access to a full rundown of the action, the company explained. 

Prime Video is also providing Rapid Recap for those who join the game in-progress and want to catch up on the action they missed before entering the livestream. Accessible after selecting “Watch,” Rapid Recap employs AI and machine learning to compile up to 13 highlights, with the full recap lasting no longer than two minutes. While viewing the rundown, viewers have the ability to either skip or rewatch big plays within the queue and jump to live action at any time.

In addition the streams will feature the X-Ray Prime Video feature that provides layers of information, allows viewers to track advanced Next Gen Stats powered by AWS, watch on-demand replays enhanced with player performance metrics, get team and player info, shop official NFL merch, and even predict the outcome of the game with Fan Polls.

Prime Video will also be providing a weekly TNF alternate stream, “Prime Vision with Next Gen Stats,” returns for all 16 regular-season matchups on Prime Video. 

Through a combination of on-screen graphic overlays, AI-driven insights, Next Gen Stats powered by AWS, and distinctive vantage points from the All-22 camera angle, the weekly alternate stream will deliver in real time pre-snap player ID tags, receiver route trees, identify open receivers and potential blitzers, and engage player-tracking data to display outstanding feats in ball-carrier speed, yards after catch, closing speed, and time to throw.

Also new-for-2023, Amazon reported that its Prime Vision additions will employ machine learning and custom logic to identify pivotal situations, allowing fans to place themselves in the coach’s shoes and read developing plays like a quarterback. 

Additional highlights that will debut on the “Prime Vision with Next Gen Stats” stream throughout the 2023 season include:

  • Defensive Alerts. Developed through a unique offseason collaboration between TNF producers, engineers, and Prime Video’s computer vision machine learning team, Defensive Alerts is an AI-powered feature driven by a neural network that gets stronger as more and more plays unfold. It tracks the movements of defensive players before the snap and identifies “players of interest” in real-time that are probable to rush the quarterback. When a probable blitzer is identified, a highlighted orb appears under them to give viewers a heads up. 
  • Prime Targets. Prime Targets is an enhanced version of last season’s Open Receiver feature that identifies receivers that are open and likely to convert a first down. Through RFID chips in the players’ shoulder pads, Prime Targets tracks and highlights open receivers in real-time with a green orb when they meet qualifying logic.
  • 4th Down Decision Guide. Utilizing Next Gen Stats’ 4th Down Decision Guide and machine learning, Prime Video will help fans understand how fourth-down decisions are made by coaches in real-time. In pivotal third-down down situations, “Prime Vision” will overlay a line on the field that indicates where the offense needs to advance the ball in order to receive a strong “go for it” recommendation on fourth down.
  • Field Goal Target Zones. In order to provide more context surrounding drives where a field goal has added importance, such as at the end of a game or half, the “Prime Vision with Next Gen Stats” Field Goal Target Zones overlay multiple lines on the field that deliver the statistical likelihoods that a kicker will make a field goal.
George Winslow

George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.