Amazon’s football debut on Thursday night was better than you think

The stream wasn’t flawless, but these numbers show that streaming in esports can be a contender.

Amazon Prime Video’s “” debut did better on the ratings than you might think given the online gripes.

According to Nielsen national TV ratings, the game averaged 13 million viewers. That’s a win as Amazon guaranteed advertisers 12.6 million viewers, a person with knowledge of the negotiations told IndieWire. Add Amazon’s own first-party metrics if you want, and that number grows to 15.3 million viewers across multiple platforms.

The Nielsen record is 47 percent better than last year’s second-week Thursday Night Football game, which aired exclusively on NFL Network. (Except in local markets, which is relevant here because the New York Giants were one of the participating teams; Washington was their opponent.)

It helped, of course, that Prime Video’s exclusive debut was a close match – but so did the Giants vs. Commanders contest on September 16, 2021, which ended up being a one-point affair in DC’s favour. That year, the Kansas City Chiefs outlived the Los Angeles Chargers by 27-24. The AFC West matchup earned an average rating of 5.0 among adults 18-49, which was 9 percent better than the multi-network average for last year’s entire season.

The “Thursday Night Football” premiere was viewed far more widely than any broadcast or cable TV show that same night. “Young Sheldon” on CBS was #2 with *only* 3.5 million viewers. So if we just go from Nielsen to Nielsen, we’re talking a lead of almost 10 million viewers.

Not only were there a lot of viewers for Chargers chiefs, they were also younger than usual – streaming usually does that. “Thursday Night Football” on Prime Video delivered an audience six years younger than the linear NFL audience to date (media age 47 vs. 53). The audience was seven years younger than last year’s average “TNF” audience throughout the season (median age 54; “Thursday Night Football” was broadcast in trios on Fox, NFL Network and Prime Video).

Here’s how Amazon describes its own first-party measurement, which in this case accounted for the *additional* 2.3 million viewers: “Amazon aggregates direct viewing data from millions of devices and accounts viewing to provide a clear and comprehensive Understanding viewership on Amazon’s channels.” The company then adds Nielsen numbers to come up with its own total.

Prior to the release of these numbers, Prime Video’s global head of sports, Jay Marine, emailed staff the information below. IndieWire received a copy of the memo (bold is his).

On Thursday night, we made history by delivering the first game of the regular season under our landmark 11-year agreement with the NFL. And by all accounts, Prime Video’s “Thursday Night Football” was a hit. From the outstanding production of the game to the quality of the streams customers watch at home, Prime Video has proven that we are among the best in sports media.

To put it in context, let me share some of the results. Our first exclusive TNF show delivered the most viewed primetime night in the US in Prime Video history. That’s a tremendous achievement. During our TNF broadcast we also saw the biggest three hours for US Prime filings ever in Amazon history – including Prime Day, Cyber ​​Monday and Black Friday. And while we’re still waiting for official Nielsen ratings, Our measurement shows that viewership exceeded all of our viewership expectations. This was also a tremendous technical achievement – our engineering and product teams rose to the challenge and delivered an amazing streaming experience to our millions of viewers.

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Lindsay Lowe

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