‘Thursday Night Football’ scores 13 million viewers on Amazon

Amazon is off to a strong start with its Prime Video stream “Thursday Night Football”.

Nielsen data for the first game on Sept. 15 — a 27-24 win by the Kansas City Chiefs over the Los Angeles Chargers — averaged 13 million viewers.

The number is up 47% from the comparable game in 2021, when 8.8 million viewers tuned in to watch the New York Giants and Washington Commanders on the NFL Network.

Amazon’s own data, which also includes the game’s alternative streams on Prime Video, showed an average of 15.3 million viewers.

Last week’s premiere, with Al Michaels and Kirk Herbstreit handling play-by-play, topped the 12.6 million viewers guaranteed to advertisers who bought time for games this season.

Amazon has an 11-year deal with the NFL and pays $1 billion annually for 15 Thursday night games. The deal is the first exclusive NFL package for a streaming service.

Video streaming is becoming the platform of choice for younger viewers and that was the case with Thursday Night Football. Nielsen data showed that the median age of viewers of the game was 47, six years younger than the audience watching the NFL on traditional television during the first two weeks of the season.

Prime Video benefited from a close battle between two teams expected to fight for the AFC title and the Super Bowl. Week two will be a more challenging test as the Pittsburgh Steelers take on the Cleveland Browns.

Prime Video’s “Thursday Night Football” results are being closely watched by the TV industry. While the vast majority of major sporting events remain on traditional television, tech companies are showing a willingness to shell out big to get in on the action.

Apple TV+ is seen as a top contender for the NFL’s Sunday Ticket package, which allows fans to watch televised coverage of games outside of the market for a fee. The rights are currently owned by DirecTV.

Apple currently has the rights to Friday night Major League Baseball games for its Apple TV+ streaming service and may be able to broadcast a history-making event this week if it is the matchup between the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox presents.

Yankees star Aaron Judge is chasing the American League record for home runs in a single season. As of Tuesday, Judge has 60 homers, one short of Roger Maris’ 61 for the Yankees in 1961.

https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/business/story/2022-09-22/thursday-night-football-draws-13-million-viewers-on-amazon-prime-video ‘Thursday Night Football’ scores 13 million viewers on Amazon

Sarah Ridley

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