Why Isn’t Week 16’s San Francisco 49ers-Arizona Cardinals NFL Game on TV?

All three of the NFL’s games set for Saturday provide great matchups that directly impact playoff seeding. One of the three games features an intriguing division matchup, as the San Francisco 49ers will battle the Arizona Cardinals.

This game kicks off at 4:30 ET, but it won’t be on typical television channels. In order to watch the NFC West matchup, Amazon Prime Video or Twitch will be required. That is because it’s the culmination of a week-long partnership between the NFL and Amazon. 

The NFL’s numerous schedule changes

The NFL schedule has been subject to multiple changes throughout the 2020 season. The coronavirus pandemic is why. Every team has had to deal with COVID-19 in some form this year. How seriously it has affected each team varies. Some have had to postpone their games because of a high number of positive cases. 

Despite the changes to the schedule, the NFL has played every single game scheduled this year. That is important to note, showing the league’s diligence and flexibility to complete their season. Coming into the final weeks of the regular season, it looks like the league will complete their season in a bubble-less environment.

Games have been played on some unusual days this season. The typical NFL schedule has games played on Sunday, Monday, Thursday, and the occasional Saturday. There have been games taking place on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, uncommon for the league. There was even a game on Friday, which is quite the rarity in the NFL. 

The 49ers-Cardinals game is on Amazon Prime Video and Twitch

RELATED:Is Adopting a 17 Game NFL Schedule Inevitable?

The 49ers-Cardinals matchup is part of a partnership between the NFL and Amazon. Called the NFL Holiday Blitz, this is a week-long collaboration between the two companies, highlighting football’s culture through various topics. This game is part of an exclusive broadcast on Amazon Prime Video and Twitch.

This NFC West division matchup is the first NFL game to be aired exclusively on Prime Video and Twitch nationally, per BusinessWire. It will be available in more than 240 countries and territories, according to the report. A live stream pregame show hosted by Cari Champion will air on Twitch before kickoff. 

This is the second game Amazon has had because of their NFL Holiday Blitz partnership. They also broadcasted the Vikings-Saints game on Friday alongside NFL Network and FOX. Andrew Catalon, James Lofton, and Sherree Burruss of CBS Sports will be the broadcast team for the 49ers-Cardinals contest. Options for alternate broadcast feeds, next-gen stats and other features are available during the game. 

The game is available to all Amazon Prime members for free and can be streamed on Twitch at twitch.tv/twitchsports

Cardinals looking for a win to stay in the playoff hunt

The Cardinals need to win this game to stay in the NFC playoff hunt. They have the seventh and last available spot coming into this game, with the Bears a game behind them. If Kyler Murray can play like he did against the Eagles, Arizona should be fine.

Murray threw for a career-high 406 yards against Philly and three passing touchdowns. In that same game, he found Deandre Hopkins nine times for 169 yards and a score. That duo will need to continue to shine against a 49ers defense that gives up the fourth-fewest passing yards a game, per ESPN. The Cardinals’ defense held the Eagles to six points scored in the second half. That exceptional performance should continue against a 49ers offense dealing with injuries at key positions.

Nick Mullens won’t start for the 49ers, as he will miss the remainder of the season with an elbow injury. Raheem Mostert is also out for the season with an ankle injury. The good news is that George Kittle is returning from a foot injury he suffered in Week 8. His presence will give starting quarterback C.J. Beathard a security blanket option.

The season for the 49ers is over, sitting at 5-9 and eliminated from playoff contention. Division matchups are always competitive, especially between these two NFC West rivals. The Cardinals won the first matchup of the season 24-21 in Week 1. San Francisco hopes to play the role of spoiler in the second matchup, ruining Arizona’s playoff chances.

All Stats Courtesy of ESPN