NFL, Amazon have plenty of work to do to increase awareness of TNF streaming

In this photo illustration, a hand holding a TV remote
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As the Chargers and Chiefs prepare to meet for the first (sort of) Thursday night game of the regular season on September 15, I’m expecting to get a phone call from my father-in-law. It will go something like this.

“What channel is the game on?”

“It’s not.”

“Wow, you really are a Meathead.”

“It’s not on TV. It’s available only on streaming.”

“What’s that?”

“It’s an Internet thing. You need to have Amazon Prime.”

“What the hell is that?”

“Just come over and watch the game here.”

The NFL and Amazon have tried, we think, to make football fans aware of the seismic shift in Thursday Night Football, with the games moving from three-letter broadcast TV to a three-syllable streaming service. Whatever the league and Amazon have done, it hasn’t been sufficient.

A recent poll commissioned by Cumulus Media and Westwood One shows that not nearly enough ardent football fans, and non-ardent football fans, are aware that the Thursday night game has exited traditional, over-the-air TV and landed on a provider that requires reliable, high-speed Internet service and the purchase of Amazon Prime.

Per the poll (via BarrettSportsMedia.com), only 23 percent of all Americans 18 years or older are aware that Thursday Night Football will be available only on Amazon. Of occasional NFL viewers, only 30 percent know about the shift. And for frequent NFL viewers, merely 47 percent know. Which means that more than half of frequent NFL viewers just don’t know.

They’ll know soon, if they don’t know now. And plenty of them will be upset. Whether they don’t have sufficiently fast Internet or they don’t have a smart TV or they don’t have Amazon or simply resent the fact that what had been free for so long no longer is, they’ll react.

Some will complain and still buy access to the games. Some won’t. It will be interesting to see what the numbers will be. And whether those numbers will be disclosed.

Whatever they are, they won’t be the numbers the NFL is accustomed to on Thursday nights.

25 responses to “NFL, Amazon have plenty of work to do to increase awareness of TNF streaming

  1. I have to think ignorance is a big reason we haven’t seen much backlash to this. My household doesn’t stream. We’re getting more and more open to the idea, but not because of football. I’ve resigned myself to going to a bar for my team’s Thursday night game. People speculate that streaming is an evolution of televised sports, but I’m inclined to think more of us will find the games moving away from free network TV as a decided step backwards.

  2. They are gonna screw this up along with Sunday Ticket. When those viewers drop because not everyone has reliable internet, they’ll realize just stupid streaming games is. Especially as the only option.

  3. I guess I’ll be pinning the box score on my phone for TNF, while I watch live NBA, NHL or MLB games this fall on my cable TV. What a shame.

  4. Thursday games are by far the worst game of the week. Usually low scoring snooze fests. No reason to purchase Amazon Prime just to watch TNF.

  5. ill try it, im already an Amazon prime member…
    .
    guess ill start by seeing if my son can hook the laptop to the TV… don’t want to watch anything on a 17 inch screen

  6. Begginning of the end! To quote Frank Lucas in American Gangster, the loudest in the room is the weakest, Amazon apparently put on the mink hat. Lets us see how this goes. I’m not buying! Cheers!

  7. I’m not paying for Amazon prime just to watch my team once a season on that platform.

    Yea I understand other games will be played throughout the season. I still don’t find it worth my money to pay for games I honestly could care less about

  8. So, the NFL understimated the number of luddites out there? It doesn’t take super-fast internet, or even fast. Who doesn’t have 3.5Mbps internet?!

  9. I wouldn’t normally subscribe to Amazon but I will to watch the NFL. Seems pretty reasonable to watch on Thursday nights plus get all the normal perks with Amazon Prime

  10. Wow, all of you guys who still have TV antennas on top of your houses to get free TV amaze me! I have had to pay cable costs, and now DirecTV costs, to see your so-called “free” games. I just realized–my wife already HAS Prime, so these will be “free” games for me, though. I just hope it doesn’t stink like it did last year. I watched 5 minutes of a game on Amazon and turned it off. It was almost as bad as MLB on AppleTV+!

  11. When the NFL fully realizes how many fans across great swaths of middle America who do not have access to high speed internet, who do not have (or understand) any kind of streaming service… man this is going to be a train wreck

  12. What kind of family doesn’t stream? I never heard of such a thing. The 20th century is long gone by almost a quarter century already. Cable is dead. I’m p*** off that MNF is still on ESPN. I haven’t watched a MNF game since 2015 when I cut the cable cord.

    I hope Sunday Ticket ends up on Prime. I’d also like to see the NFL experiment with VR offerings like the NBA does.

  13. sellingadream says:
    August 10, 2022 at 12:09 pm
    What kind of family doesn’t stream? I never heard of such a thing. The 20th century is long gone by almost a quarter century already. Cable is dead. I’m p*** off that MNF is still on ESPN. I haven’t watched a MNF game since 2015 when I cut the cable cord.

    We stream in our household – Netflix and Hulu. Just not interested in buying Amazon – not a fan. I probably order from them 3-4 times a year and all I have to do is spend $25 and I get free shipping. Guess I’ll be missing Thursday night football.

  14. beej says:
    August 10, 2022 at 11:19 am

    What % of possible viewers have the ability to watch stuff over computer?
    =======================
    That’s not the primary way this works anymore. Smart TVs have been out for 15 years now and if your TV is 10 years old or less it is a Smart TV anyway. And Smart TVs come with Amazon and Netflix and Hulu apps already built into them. Selecting Amazon is the modern day equivalent of selecting your VHS input a couple of decades ago.

    It’s 2022. The vast majority of the population has basic Internet along with their TV package. And the vast majority have in-home WiFi. And the vast majority have a smart TV. An Amazon Prime subscription is $100 a year and comes with a boatload of benefits that end up saving more than that even without football games.

    And as for streaming speeds, this isn’t competitive video gamers. I stream movies just fine using the slowest connection available up at my extremely rural mountain cabin. But for those few living in even more remote wilderness, or out on remote farms, or tiny one stoplight towns, yeah this is a temporary problem. But SkyLink is coming fast and you will be streaming just like all the rest of us soon.

  15. What % of possible viewers have the ability to watch stuff over computer?
    —-
    How old are some of you? Smart TV’s, Roku, fire sticks, etc. No one uses a computer for streaming anymore. Shoot, my tv in the frog upstairs that hasn’t been turned on in a year still has a streaming device. In 10 years cable companies will be a thing of the past…

  16. Dang, now I got to get a part time job at Amazon so I can afford to watch the Thursday night games for free?

  17. Yeah, it’s different. I predict that by week 8, 95%+ of those capable of streaming it will be streaming it. Streaming ain’t going anywhere. It’ll only grow going forward.

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