Week 5 of the 2022 NFL season brings us our fourth installment of Thursday Night Football. Up this week are the Indianapolis Colts at the Denver Broncos, at 8:15 p.m. Eastern time. (That’s 5:15 p.m. on the West Coast.)
And like all Thursday night games this season, you’ll have to go the streaming route to watch, since all games are only (mostly) on Amazon Prime Video. That’s not quite entirely true, though, because you also can watch on NFL+, the league’s own premium service, or on the gamer streaming service Twitch, which Amazon owns.
Regardless, Thursday Night Football is an Amazon production through and through, from start to finish. And that’s been of particular interest this season given that we’ve yet to see a Thursday night game that hasn’t seen issues with the delivered stream. While there’s been little to criticize in terms of the game itself — the on-screen graphics and talent have been excellent — there have been repeated (if intermittent) problems with the final resolution of the stream. The visuals may drop down to a much lower resolution for a few minutes before returning to what they’re supposed to be. Or the frame rate may fall below the 60 frames per second that you expect (nay, demand) from live sports.
Amazon, for its part, quickly acknowledged the issues after the first Thursday night game on September 15, which was between the Chargers and the Chiefs. Execs said they expected it to be “less of a thing” going forward. Unfortunately for everyone involved, that simply hasn’t been the case. The Steelers-Browns game on September 22 also had issues, as did the Week 4 game between Miami and Cincinnati.
There’s not a whole lot that end-users can do, which only adds to the frustration. It all starts with the source feed itself. If the problems are upstream, as they have been, it trickles down from there. Then there are the content distribution networks, your own internet service provider, your own home network, and finally the devices and apps you’re using to watch the Thursday Night Football stream. And you’ve got a ton of choices here since the Prime Video app (and Twitch, and NFL+) is available on pretty much any modern device that connects to the internet.
Maybe this will be the week everything goes perfectly, and maybe it won’t. We’ll just have to see. The same, too, goes for the viewing numbers. The first installment of Thursday Night Football garnered some 15.3 million viewers across all devices, never mind the streaming issues.
Both the Colts and the Broncos are coming into Thursday night on short rest. On the other hand, they’ll both be hungry after coming off losses on Sunday. Denver fell to Las Vegas 32-23, while Indy lost to Tennessee 24-17.
Here’s the full Thursday Night Football schedule. All games are scheduled for 8:15 p.m. ET.
- Sept. 15: Kansas City Chiefs 27, L.A. Chargers 24
- Sept. 22: Cleveland 29, Pittsburgh 17
- Sept. 29: Cincinnati 27, Miami 15
- Oct. 6: Indianapolis at Denver
- Oct. 13: Washington at Chicago
- Oct. 20: New Orleans at St. Louis
- Oct. 27: Baltimore at Tampa Bay
- Nov. 3: Philadelphia at Houston
- Nov. 10: Atlanta at Carolina
- Nov. 17: Tennessee at Green Bay
- Dec. 1: Buffalo at New England
- Dec. 8: Oakland at L.A. Rams
- Dec. 15: San Francisco at Seattle
- Dec. 22: Jacksonville at N.Y. Jets
- Dec. 29: Dallas at Tennessee