View Finder: Thursday Night NFL coming to Amazon Prime Video
Plus Netflix gets another season of Unfortunate Events and The Defenders gets dated.
I've often lamented the disappointing library of TV and movie shows on the Australian version of Amazon's Prime Video service, but an announcement this week offers some level of hope for the platform beyond originals.
Amazon has officially partnered with the American NFL to livestream Thursday Night Football to a global audience on Prime Video. The deal, which reportedly cost the streaming company US$50 million, means that subscribers in over 200 countries will be able to watch Thursday Night Football as part of their monthly subscription.
Last year, Twitter signed a similar distribution deal for Thursday Night football rights, bringing matches to its massive global audience, so long as they were watching through the Twitter website or Twitter's mobile apps.
The Amazon opportunity will bring the games to the same platforms, with the bonus advantage of the big screen through televisions with the Prime Video app installed.
This is a pretty epic development in the streaming world. For years, live sports has been the missing link in the streaming content arsenal. Netflix has repeatedly stated it's not going to go down that road, but here in sports-mad Australia streaming sports is an inevitable development.
We've already seen telcos dive in to sign exclusive digital streaming rights, with Optus offering the EPL and cricket and Telstra offering NRL, AFL, Netball and NBL. But each of those offerings has some significant limitations – Optus requires you to be an Optus customer for mobile or broadband in order to stream the EPL,while Telstra's streaming rights for the NRL and AFL only extend to portable devices, not TVs.
If Amazon can make the NFL deal work in a way that Twitter could not, then it will potentially open up streaming to a whole new audience. It will be interesting to watch how this partnership progresses.
Netflix commits to Lemony Snicket
It was only back in March that Netflix confirmed that its horrible tale of the poor, unfortunate Baudelaire orphans, A Series of Unfortunate Events, was getting a second season. Now, not even a month later, Variety tells us that Netflix has committed to a third season of the show.
Given that the first season covered off the first four books of the thirteen book series, if it keeps to the same formula Netflix's decision of committing to a third season will see the show mathematically cover off all but the final book.
Of course, Netflix could extend the final season by two episodes in order to finish the series completely, or perhaps go down the "series and a movie" strategy.
Either way, expect to see plenty more of evil Neil Patrick Harris as Count Olaf over the next couple of years.
This week in streaming
Big news for fans of Netflix's Marvel shows. The long-discussed team up mini-series The Defenders is coming on 18 August, and the short teaser video above seems to indicate that the foursome will hop into an elevator together at some point. We'll need to wait until August to find out why though.
The third of Stan's One night Stan stand up comedy specials is now live, with Tom Ballard bringing the laughs.
Also over at Stan, the superb Better Call Saul is heading back to the service next week. To celebrate, Stan even brought over Gus Fring's Los Pollos Hermanos to Sydney to celebrate the show's return on 11 April..
Still looking for something to watch? Why not check our full round-up of the shows launching in April?
Each week, View Finder rounds up the latest news in TV and movie streaming for Australians.