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Beer ads were missing from Amazon’s ‘Thursday Night Football’ game broadcasts. Turns out, they’re banned.

  • Amazon started broadcasting regular-season NFL games, and its first game drew 13 million viewers.
  • Beer ads, which make regular appearances on NFL broadcasts, were absent in Amazon’s stream.
  • The company’s advertising policy prohibits ads for selling and promoting alcoholic beverages.

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Eagle-eyed viewers of Amazon’s first “Thursday Night Football” broadcast might have noticed something felt different as the game cut to commercials — there weren’t any beer ads, as Bloomberg first noted.

That’s because, according to Amazon’s advertising guidelines, the company prohibits ads selling or promoting alcoholic beverages and booze companies. 

“Per our prohibited content policy, ad content must not encourage, glamorize or depict excessive consumption of alcohol,” Amazon’s advertising policy says

Ads on Amazon for alcohol are prohibited in the US, Canada, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Egypt, and India.

The policy for alcohol ads doesn’t affect non-alcohol ads that happen to feature alcohol content, Amazon said. In the US and Canada, ads for alcohol merchandise are permitted “if the advertiser and/or its parent company do not hold a license to produce or distribute alcoholic beverages.”

The lack of beer and alcohol commercials is a notable example of how an NFL livestream differs under Amazon, foregoing the historically cozy relationship between sports broadcasts and booze sellers in line with its stricter set of advertising policies.

In regions where Amazon allows ads for alcohol, they “must promote the responsible consumption of alcoholic beverages,” the company’s policy says. Other rules include not appealing to minors, and not showing drinking and driving.

The first “Thursday Night Football” broadcast offered a hopeful look for Amazon, which signed an 11-year deal with the NFL for $11 billion.

The e-commerce giant’s “Thursday Night Football” broadcast brought in 13 million viewers, which was over the company’s estimation of 12.5 million viewers.

Ad buyers previously told Insider that Amazon was pulling away from expensive ads it wanted, because the company predicted it would have a smaller audience for its “Thursday Night Football” stream than its television broadcast from last year. 

“While just one game, I think it validates that streaming exclusive NFL games can compete with the traditional linear networks,” Adam Schwartz, SVP and director of sports video investment at Horizon Media, told Insider. “It also somewhat validates Amazon’s initial aggressive sales stance.” Schwartz bought into “Thursday Night Football” for some of his clients, he told Insider.

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