Amazon Prime NFL debut draws 1.03 million average viewers

Streaming - Amazon Prime Video
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The numbers are in. Amazon may wish they weren’t.

John Ourand of Sports Business Journal reports that last Thursday’s 49ers-Texans game on Amazon Prime generated an average audience of 1.03 million.

That’s a surprisingly low number, but it’s not a surprise given the realities of streaming. Network TV can gather a massive live audience. When it comes to streaming, it’s much more difficult — especially since there really hasn’t been a significant push to make people aware of the fundamental shift in Thursday night broadcasting from three-letter network to six-letter streamer.

In fairness to Amazon, it was only a preseason game. And it was played at a time the Packers-Chiefs preseason game was being televised by NFL Network. Still, it’s alarming, especially since the number includes local over-the-air viewership in San Francisco and Houston.

We’re told that the game drew 494,000 viewers in those two markets, through normal broadcasting channels (literally). That leaves a mere 536,000 viewers on the Amazon Prime stream.

Then there’s the fact, as reported by Ourand, that the media age of the Amazon viewer was 51. Amazon and the NFL are hoping that this approach will capture a younger audience. To make that happen, that number will need to drop.

And the audience numbers will definitely need to go up. As one industry insider put it, the preseason rating is roughly 20 percent of what the regular-season games will do. That means roughly 5 million per game — less than half of the 12.5 million number Amazon reportedly suggested to advertisers.

24 responses to “Amazon Prime NFL debut draws 1.03 million average viewers

  1. I still have no idea how to watch TNF in Canada this year ? NFL do you care to weigh in ? The problem with steaming is you can’t change the he channel and see what’s in during the boring parts of the game. Keep posting this stuff I love when the league looks stupid!

  2. I have had and loved Prime for a lot of years. I will catch up with the Thursday night games again though once this “experiment” is over. The good news is, each team is subjected to this telecast only once per season.

  3. Pretty simple for this old man. If I cannot see it on network or cable, I don’t need to see it. I expect a good portion of the Senior Circuit to follow suit.

  4. I’ll be watching. I’ve had Amazon Prime for years and I’m thrilled to be able to watch NFL football on it.

  5. Streaming will be the demise of NFL Viewer ratings,… and that’s not good for broadcasting contracts,… which those broadcasting contract dollars are the meat and potatoes of each teams salary cap.

  6. I have a feeling they’re going to regret this. For me it used to be easy. I set the TiVo to record so if I forgot or was bushy it switched channels and recorded and I’d then watch it. Not sure how many times I’ll remember to switch to Prime and scroll through to find game.

  7. A Niners/Texans preseason game, that was streaming opposite GB/KC on the NFLN, ‘only’ drew 536k viewers? Given the game was also available on broadcast outlets in the home markets how much bigger would you expect the number to be for a preseason weak offering on opposite 2 marquee teams with huge followings?

  8. I’m not going to pay for Amazon Prime or Amazon Video. It turns out the Thursday night game was a good one, I’ll watch it on Friday on NFL+. Or if it’s my local-market team, I’ll watch it on broadcast TV.

    Amazon has millions of Amazon Prime customers, so if they can’t advertise the games well enough to get them to get a good proportion to watch, it’s Amazon’s own fault.

  9. I am not paying any more money when charter cable is expensive enough. Ill watch college football on thursday.

  10. Isn’t Thursday night Spaghetti night already? Not paying Amazon to watch football and interrupting Spaghetti night.

  11. Nobody is going out of their way to stream a preseason game. I’m surprised that many people took the time.

  12. Ok Bezos…

    humb0lt says:
    September 1, 2022 at 11:24 am
    I’ll be watching. I’ve had Amazon Prime for years and I’m thrilled to be able to watch NFL football on it.

  13. As an Amazon Prime member here in Canada, I was not aware they were making the game available. Then again, maybe they weren’t. Amazon USA and Amazon Canada are two completely separate entities. I’ll need to find out what’s going on.

  14. I’m a prime member in Canada, and the game wasn’t available here thru Amazon.

    Perhaps the numbers would have increased a tad.

  15. I’m sure once the regular season starts and everybody is looking for the TNF game, they’ll find it. There was no reason for anybody who wasn’t a Niners or Texans fan interested in which backups were going to make their team to watch that game last week.

  16. I barely can stand a quarter of a team I like during the preseason. I’m not going to go out of my way to try Amazon’s effort.

  17. I honestly don’t really care to watch. But a large portion of the country doesn’t even have access to internet, let alone high speed for streaming. One of the sponsors of a golf tournament outside Detroit was talking about bringing internet to all parts of the city.

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