Amazon Expects Fewer Viewers for ‘Thursday Night Football’ Following Move to Streaming
Are you ready for some football? Amazon is, but the company isn’t sure all of its subscribers are. According to a report from AdAge, Amazon executives told advertisers that they can expect around 12.5 million viewers to tune in each week for “Thursday Night Football” on Prime Video.
That’s a significantly lower number on average than what the broadcast of “TNF” drew on linear TV. “Amazon took estimates down pretty significantly versus what there was out there from [FOX] [last year]. But we feel good about it from a value standpoint,” said one sports media buying exec from a major ad agency, speaking anonymously.
The deal does come with some benefits for advertisers. NFL ad buys will be incorporated into the rest of Amazon’s digital platforms with Amazon's product placement technology. Amazon is also charging less than FOX for a 30-second ad on “TNF,” $500,000 per ad as opposed to over $635,000 on last year’s linear broadcast.
Additionally, Amazon will have access to first-party consumer data that could give its advertisers an edge. According to the Sports Business Journal, Amazon’s exclusive “TNF” games will be Nielsen-rated this season. This marks the first time ever that a streaming service will be incorporated into Nielsen’s national TV measurement system.
Football has always been a ratings powerhouse in the United States, so it will be worth watching to see what Nielsen’s numbers say about Amazon’s viewer estimates. The highest-rated “TNF” game last year drew 20 million viewers, while the lowest drew half that amount. NFL games overall drew 17.1 million viewers each on average, and Prime Video reaches 80 million households in the US. Given that robust subscription base, Amazon is clearly hoping it can lure more in-house customers to its NFL content.
Amazon is using a multi-pronged strategy to achieve that increase in viewers for “TNF.” The e-commerce giant recently announced it would run multiple simultaneous streams of “TNF”, partnering with Dude Perfect for part of the season. Pat McAfee has also been mentioned as a possible alternate stream partner for Amazon, who is hoping McAfee would bring a vibe similar to ESPN’s “ManningCast” to “TNF.”
Amazon is also trying to reach beyond its current subscriber base to attract viewers to “TNF.” Recently it was revealed that the company is nearing a deal with DirecTV to carry “TNF” in bars and restaurants. It has also been reported that Amazon will get exclusive rights to stream a game on Black Friday, likely starting in 2023.
Add into all this the fact that Amazon is still very much in the running as a landing spot for NFL Sunday Ticket, and it’s clear how committed Amazon is to becoming the streaming home of NFL football.