The NFL’s new adventure in exclusive streaming has begun. The first chapter won’t end until the viewership information becomes available.
Via John Ourand of Sports Business Journal, the full Nielsen ratings for the Amazon broadcast of Chargers-Chiefs are expected to be released by Monday.
For now, the data as to local consumption on tradition TV is available. In Kansas City, the game racked up a 33.6 rating and 57 share. This means that 57 percent of the TVs in use in the market were tuned in to the game, and that 33.6 percent of all TVs (on or off) were glued to pro football. In L.A., the numbers were 6.8 and 21, respectively.
Ourand notes that the Kansas City number is “probably a little bit below what TV networks typically get from that market.” Ourand also observes, correctly, that “[a] good team playing a close game should get more than a 7 rating on television” in Los Angeles.
Amazon reportedly has told advertisers that it expects TNF audiences in the range of 12 million. The more realistic number, for a good game, is 5-7 million. And, on Thursday night, Amazon got a very good game between very good teams in the glow of an early season.
Whether long-term play or short-term money grab, Thursday Night Football is scheduled to be the exclusive property of Amazon for the next 11 years. Remember, however, that the league has an early out in its current TV deals, after seven seasons. If/when the league decides that the increased cash isn’t worth the depleted audience, there’s a chance things change by the end of the decade.