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Bengals Pitched NFL, Amazon on Being Annual Host For Black Friday Game

Just as the Detroit Lions and Dallas Cowboys host games on Thanksgiving annually, the Cincinnati Bengals are looking to establish a new tradition of their own the next day. National Football League Vice President of Broadcasting and Scheduling Mike North revealed Friday that the Bengals made an offer to be the hosts of the new Black Friday game broadcast on Amazon Prime Video each year.

“They put their hand up and said, ‘You know what? We’re interested in Black Friday not just in 2023 – how about as a tradition?,’” North revealed Friday morning during an interview on SiriusXM Mad Dog Sports Radio’s Schein on Sports. “‘We play in Dallas and Detroit on Thanksgiving every year. How about playing in Cincinnati on Black Friday every year?’ So we looked at a Steelers-Bengals game for Black Friday.”

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North outlined the process of how the NFL went about selecting the matchup for its first-ever game on Black Friday, and noted that Amazon being involved had a lot to do with the final decision. Being a retail company, Amazon looks for ways to maximize its profit and thought holding the game in the New York metropolitan area could be a prime chance for it to utilize its talent in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and promote the game.

“‘Could we actually make this into something really special if we played in New York on Black Friday?,’” North recalls Amazon executives pondering. “We started thinking about maybe an Eagles-Giants game; maybe a Jets game [and] we also looked at some other options.”

Earlier this week, it was announced that the New York Jets will face the division-rival Miami Dolphins in MetLife Stadiumon Black Friday. The game will be free to stream for all consumers on Amazon Prime Video and feature Amazon’s in-game Thursday Night Football commentary team of Al Michaels, Kirk Herbstreit and Kaylee Hartung.

North mentioned an idea of having the Las Vegas Raiders host the Black Friday game, coming up with a slogan “Black Friday in the Black Hole.” The league’s marketing team, however, did not find it particularly compelling.

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