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Amazon Stiff-Arms Twitter, Will Stream NFL Games

Twitter just got blitzed. The social network had a deal with the NFL to stream 10 Thursday night games, but Amazon has just swooped in.

Credit: Ronald Martinez/Getty

(Image credit: Ronald Martinez/Getty)

According to the Wall Street Journal, Amazon has reportedly paid the NFL $50 million for a one-year agreement to stream Thursday Night Football. That's five times more than one Twitter paid. But there's a (ahem) catch.

In order to tune in to the games, you'll need to be an Amazon Prime member. If you're not on Amazon Prime, the $99 yearly service includes free two-day shipping and lots of other perks, including access to TV shows, movies and music.

MORE: Netflix vs. Hulu vs. Amazon Prime: Streaming Showdown

Limiting Thursday NFL to Prime members means that only about 60 million people will be able to watch the games, according to analyst estimates on Amazon Prime membership.

Amazon didn't just stiff arm Twitter. The WSJ reports that Google and Facebook were also engaged in the bidding war.

It's not like Twitter shouldn't have seen this coming. When the service debuted, we called it a missed opportunity. For example, tapping on a tweet actually paused the live game action, which was lame. Plus, the second-screen experience just didn't feel interactive enough, with a lack of stats. It all felt half-baked.

It also doesn't help that, according to Twitter's most recent earnings report, its user base is shrinking — at least if you don't count SMS Fast Followers. If you exclude that number, the audience has declined from 307 million to 305 million.

But if you're a Prime member, or you're thinking of becoming one, Amazon just found one more thing to sweeten the deal.