Justin Herbert and the Los Angeles Chargers kept the game competitive until the end, but many fans were unhappy with the overall experience.
When the Los Angeles Chargers faced the Kansas City Chiefs last night, fans got their clearest look yet at what the future of sports media might look like. The game is exclusively broadcast on Amazon Prime Video, as part of Amazon’s new deal with NFL that turned the tech giant into the exclusive home of “.” While last Thursday’s season opener between the Los Angeles Rams and the Buffalo Bills was broadcast on NBC, all subsequent Thursday matches (except for the locally televised Thanksgiving games) will be broadcast exclusively on Amazon Prime Video.
Amazon has been involved in NFL broadcasts in the past, but last night was the first time a major game was available exclusively on the streaming service. Some growing pains were inevitable, and few expected that it would be easy to equip the huge, demographically stretched NFL fan base to watch the game on a new platform. In addition to logistical hurdles, it was also the first game for new broadcast duo Al Michaels and Kirk Herbstreit. The two men are all-too-familiar faces of football fans, but they’ve never really called together (Michaels left his longtime home on NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” to join Amazon, and Herbstreit spends Saturdays fixing on ESPN’s sprawling college football coverage ). With all these new variables, many close watchers of the league were as curious about the broadcast as they were about Justin Herbert’s ability to rise to the level of Patrick Mahomes.
But many fans eventually felt the broadcast was off to a rough start. Some have complained that the presentation is too soft negatively affecting the image quality, while many others have experienced pixelation, sync and audio issues that often drop and drop.
Even with motion smoothing turned off, it still seemed to work during Prime Video NFL games.
– Christian Bluvelt (@ctblauvelt) September 16, 2022
Whoever had the idea of putting football on amazon prime video instead of just showing it on tv, damn you
– Jake (@jakemckinney17) September 16, 2022
I love watching Thursday Night Football on Amazon Prime. I like that everything is divided and mysterious. I also like how the audio and video are not syncing properly.
– King Sully Mac 169 IQ 5’10 ish” (@SullyMacCat85) September 16, 2022
– Strider (@seconds732) September 15, 2022
– Kevin Kopersky (@kevinkoperski) September 16, 2022
Chiefs vs Charges on Amazon Prime looks like pic.twitter.com/ul96x8YzNe
– Gurth_Brookz (@gurth_brookz) September 16, 2022
An amazing amount of ads on Amazon Prime are for Amazon Prime, the service I pay to see ads
– Rodger Sherman (@rodger) September 16, 2022
Amazon Prime Live Show Tries to Stream Football on Thursday Night pic.twitter.com/4LG9HMrViS
– Black Adam Shifter (@B1ackSchefter) September 16, 2022
I love Amazon Prime but this football stream is awesome. They were clearly not prepared for the large number of spectators
– Devin (@devinncohenn) September 16, 2022
It’s a struggle trying to watch this game on Amazon Prime…
– Michael Crabtree (@KingCrab15) September 16, 2022
Why can’t the NFL put games on regular TV?
Luddite living in Florida
– Ernest Huber (@hoop4you) September 16, 2022
These issues weren’t always universal, and many were able to enjoy streaming without major issues. Many of the biggest glitches have occurred with Amazon’s Twitch channel, rather than the standard broadcast that people have watched through their Amazon Prime subscriptions. However, many fans left the game with as many questions about Amazon’s ability to broadcast live football (and win public opinion) as they did about Justin Herbert’s injury case.