Skip to main content

Digital Trends may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site. Why trust us?

Thursday Night Football streaming issues ‘going to be less and less a thing’

For a good many people who watched the inaugural stream of Thursday Night Football on Amazon Prime Video, everything went off without a hitch. The football game was played, and it was absolutely watchable in the Prime Video app. Others, however, saw issues. It was hit-and-miss, as these things tend to be.

And as I predicted last week after the game, Amazon is on it.

On the September 19, 2022, episode of the Sports Media with Richard Deitsch podcast, Thursday Night Football executive producer Fred Gaudelli weighed in a great bit on what it took to start Amazon’s Thursday Night Football from scratch — Amazon is producing it from start to finish and not just streaming someone else’s production — as well a little of what it’s like to be at the mercy of the streaming tech, which we all know is great right up until it’s not.

Thursday Night Football on Prime Video.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

From the jump, Deitsch noted all the variables that go into troubleshooting this sort of thing. It starts with the source, of course, and then filters through things like content delivery networks, your regional and local internet providers, your local network conditions, and finally your device. That’s no easy thing to troubleshoot from afar.

“People’s experiences in terms of the product — the streaming product — will be different based on a million different variables,” Deitsch said in his chat with Gaudelli and Pierre Moossa, who directs Thursday Night Football. “Where they live. What their internet connection is. The device they’re watching on. …”

Gaudelli was quick to focus on Amazon’s customer service chops before pivoting to the fact that streaming this sort of thing isn’t easy. Indeed, live sports is a completely different animal than video-on-demand, even when you’re working at the relatively smaller scale of a Thursday night NFL game compared to, say, the launch of The Rings of Power, the new Amazon series that’s a spinoff of The Lord of the Rings.

“They’re very customer-oriented,” Gaudelli said. “And I think they’re gonna work like gangbusters to make sure everybody has that great experience. Obviously, there are so many factors outside their control — where do you live, what is your Wi-Fi like, what is the bandwidth? Who else is using it in your area? But they’re very consumer- and customer-drive, and I’m very hopeful that every week this is going to be less and less a thing.”

Obviously, Amazon — the same Amazon behind the behemoth Amazon Web Services — monitors things at the global network level. Moossa then gave a brief glimpse into how that sort of troubleshooting goes from the device level.

“They have a whole place that we’re obsessed with called the AVOC,” Moossa said, “which is where they have every single device you can imagine — people monitoring, testing it. They go through every aspect of it. The amount of testing that is done, the amount of focusing on latency so it was the quickest possible experience.”

Both Moossa and Gaudelli noted that they’re completely removed from the end-user experience — their job is to make a broadcast, not actually deliver the bits and bytes to your TV, phone, tablet, or computer. But the company line was fresh, and you could tell they cared about the quality of the stream.

“I realize that some people may not have had a perfect experience,” Moossa continued. “But [Amazon is] so focused on the consumer experience that they’re gonna figure out a way to make sure it’s determined.”

Amazon’s next Thursday Night Football stream is September 22, when the Pittsburgh Steelers head to Cleveland to face their AFC North rival. That game is scheduled for 8:15 p.m. Eastern. To watch it, you’ll need a subscription to Amazon Prime, and then the Prime Video app on whatever device it is you want to watch on.

Editors' Recommendations

Phil Nickinson
Section Editor, Audio/Video
Phil spent the 2000s making newspapers with the Pensacola (Fla.) News Journal, the 2010s with Android Central and then the…
Amazon saw 15.3 million watch Thursday Night Football on Prime Video
Thursday Night Football on Amazon Prime Video.

We knew Thursday Night Football on Amazon Prime Video was good. Better than good, really, given that Amazon is producing and streaming the show on its own. But this good? An average of some 15.3 million viewers across all platforms watched the Week 2 game (Amazon's first; the Week 1 game was on NBC), and Nielsen alone noted 13 million viewers.

That Nielsen number was up 47% from the 2021 Week 2 Thursday night game, Amazon said. That game was only on the NFL Network.

Read more
Prime Video’s first solo Thursday Night Football NFL game went … fine
Thursday Night Football on Amazon Prime Video.

So Amazon Prime Video streamed its first actually exclusive Thursday Night Football game. (That's the name of the show because all shows must be named, in addition to actually being the night on which said football was played. It'd be awkward if TNF was played on Friday, but as we saw in 2020, stranger things have happened.) And because all things must be critiqued in 2022, we're happy to report that it went ... OK.

To be clear, Prime Video is no stranger to streaming football games. It's done so for a number of seasons now on Thursday nights. But those games also have been available elsewhere, either on broadcast channels or on the NFL Network.

Read more
Cut the cord: Quit cable for the best streaming services
The LG G1 Gallery Series OLED TV.

So you want to cut the cord and join the streaming revolution? There are so many on-demand streaming services available now such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max, and Disney+ to name a few. Add to that that the growing selection of live TV streaming services, such as Hulu Plus Live TV, Sling TV, ESPN+, and YouTube TV, as well as live HD broadcasts with an antenna. The whole thing can be rather confusing, especially when you're trying to pick the best streaming services for you. We'll walk you through everything you need to know to finally cut the cord and kick cable to the curb.

Not everyone is cut out to be a cord-cutter, though. Ditching your satellite or cable subscription and the bill it carries sounds great in theory, but it's not something you want to rush into without a bit of research. Let's go through the best methods for dropping traditional cable in favor of some of the best streaming services.
First things first: How's your internet?
The thing about internet-delivered TV is that you need a broadband connection that can keep up with the streaming lifestyle. This may seem like a foregone conclusion, but we want to make it clear that if you're going to bet your precious entertainment future on your home network, you had better have a solid internet connection. Netflix and other similar streaming video services suggest a minimum downstream speed of 5Mbps for HD streaming, but if you have inadequate home internet connection (like 5Mbps) that is not going to allow for a smooth streaming service experience, especially when you consider other devices also using the connection. You will likely experience buffering and possible crashing of the show you are streaming, especially for those with families or households streaming more than one show or movie at a time.
High-quality streaming needs higher-speed internet
Of course, if you're looking to get into the streaming big leagues to access the growing array of 4K Ultra HD streaming content available from Netflix, Amazon, Disney+, YouTube, and others, you'll want to kick up your broadband speed to at least 25Mbps. If you're only going to be downloading 4K content from sites like FandangoNow or Ultraflix -- which offer 4K content at speeds as low as 4Mbps to 10Mbps -- 25Mbps will probably suffice, but regardless of which streaming service you select, fast and reliable internet is key to a positive streaming experience.
Peak internet usage time can affect your streaming
We also recommend testing your internet speed at peak streaming hours (between 6 and 10 p.m. on weekdays) to determine if your neighborhood struggles under the strain of heavy traffic. For example, if you routinely get around 10Mbps downloads during the day, but that speed takes a dive to about 3Mbps around dinner time, you'll want to call your internet provider to see if anything can be done. Fortunately, this is an increasingly rare problem outside of rural areas, but better to check ahead.
Check your home network equipment
Don't forget to check your home network equipment. Most modern routers and modems should offer up all the speed you need, but non-gigabit equipment may not suffice for simultaneous 4K streams. Any hiccups in your experience also may be caused by weird technical issues such as improper port forwarding, wireless interference, or other random things that are tricky to track down, some of which we'll attempt to help you troubleshoot. If you're unsure about any of it, be sure to give your internet service provider a call.

Read more