We’ve got our answer as to whether NFL fans will tune to Amazon Prime to watch Thursday Night Football.
According to the ratings released by Prime and Nielsen, it’s a resounding yes. As in, yes, the audience for an Amazon Prime NFL game is as big as any other network’s numbers. Of course, the premiere game featured two of the top teams in the NFL. The Kansas City Chiefs, led by dazzling quarterback Patrick Mahomes, beat the Los Angeles Chargers, 27-24. Quarterback Justin Herbert, who quarterbacks the Chargers, might be in the same conversation as Mahomes when it comes to top NFL talent. So the game definitely appealed to a mass NFL audience.
The Amazon Prime game averaged 15.3 million viewers when you total all platforms. Nielsen calculated an audience of 13 million. But Amazon Prime was able to glean numbers from connected TVs and their apps. Plus, it could determine the number of fans watching the game feed on Twitch.
Now, for some number context. Amazon, which is paying about $1 billion annually for the rights to these games, guaranteed advertisers an audience of about 12.6 million. That number is the big one measured by Nielsen, not the extra numbers Amazon Prime registers.
Amazon Prime Beat Numbers from Last Year’s NFL Network Premiere
A year ago, the first TNF game on the NFL Network averaged 8.84 million viewers as measured by Nielsen.
And this next detail probably isn’t surprising. Amazon Prime reported that the average age for its audience was younger than the ones watching NFL games on network or cable TV. The Amazon audience was about 47 years old, as opposed to 53 for those who watch the old-school way. Amazon also said the stream, which provides next-generation game stats for viewers, rated 18% higher than other NFL broadcasts this fall.
And the top officials congratulated the Amazon Prime staff.
“By every measure, Thursday Night Football on Prime Video was a resounding success,” Jay Marine, global head of Amazon’s sports division, wrote in a memo to his staff.
Of course, it’s too early to know the total audience numbers for last night’s numbers The Cleveland Browns beat the Pittsburgh Steelers, 29-17, in the Thursday game.
Amazon spent big money for rights to 15 games a year. The company is the first streaming service to secure exclusive NFL rights. And Amazon Prime is gaining subscribers as a result. The company said that it picked up more subscribers during the game than they’d add during Black Friday, Cyber Monday or Prime Day.