Six days later, the Nielsen numbers for Amazon’s first regular-season game aren’t available

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Well, we’re waiting.

Six days ago, Amazon broadcast the NFL’s first Thursday night regular-season, streaming-only game. Nielsen, for the first time ever, had been retained to provide ratings data for a program not on traditional TV.

One day before the next Amazon game, the Nielsen numbers still haven’t been released.

Over the weekend, the ratings supposedly were coming by Monday. As of Monday, they were coming on Tuesday. Or Wednesday. Or Thursday.

The reasons for the delay aren’t clear. Maybe Amazon and Nielsen are squabbling over the numbers. Maybe Nielsen is trying to figure out how to trim those who watched the Chargers-Chiefs game from beyond the boundaries of the United States. Maybe Amazon is simply trying to massage the numbers in a way that maximizes their appeal while minimizing their flaws.

Regardless, the delay raises eyebrows. How can it not? Digital audiences should be far easier to track than viewership based on people who access cable or satellite or pull waves from the sky. We can track our traffic in real time, at all times. Most digital media outlets can.

Our guess? Amazon engaged Nielsen in an effort to address obvious skepticism that would have come from Amazon sharing its own data without the benefit of an independent third party. The problem could be that the third party is exercising a little too much independence for Amazon’s liking.

This is all speculation. It’s speculation because there has been little reporting and less guidance about why it’s taking so long. And that justifies a healthy dose of scrutiny from media and fans when, or if, the numbers for last Thursday’s game ever are released.

16 responses to “Six days later, the Nielsen numbers for Amazon’s first regular-season game aren’t available

  1. Basically the NFL has eliminated the Thursday night games for MOST NFL fans. It’s nice to see we are going ‘ol’school schedule again with just Sunday and Monday night games. Thank you.

  2. Amazon knows all of your spending habits, web traffic, you name it. But when it comes to ratings for a football game, right to privacy.

  3. Thursday Night Football averaged 13.5 million viewers per game last season on FOX. I’m willing to bet Amazon got less than half that.

  4. The best thing about the NFL and one of its smartest moves was to make the games available on Network TV.
    No cable like the NBA or regional sports networks like the MLB. Free access to the game in your market and the primetime games.

    This move to Amazon goes against what keeps the game popular. I didn’t watch it and I bet millions of others who normally would have didn’t either.

    Penny wise and pound foolish

  5. Nielsen can’t even get broadcast and cable data right and they’ve been measuring media for literally 100 years. Digital metrics are way beyond their scope. We’ll just have to trust Amazon when they tell us how we’ll they did, amirite??

  6. I have no idea how you can accurately track that type of data. I stream everything at my house but I also have a vpn installed on my router. I have that setup at my friend’s and family’s houses. My parents are in their eighties and have no idea what a VPN is but it is installed at their house also.
    The Browns are playing today and I’ll have about 10 friends over here watching. How can Nielsen track that info?

  7. Why can’t they have a thing in the corner that says how many people are viewing it like they do for LIV Golf on YouTube?

  8. Nielsen just left my house. They said they are going door to door for a more accurate count.

  9. The numbers have to be delivered in such a way to make Amazon look good. This works for a certain in power political party. Delay results until you can find votes.

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