Amazon expected better. The good news is that better could be coming.
After telling advertisers that it would have an average of 12.5 million viewers for Thursday Night Football on Prime Video and then quibbling with Nielsen as to the accuracy of its numbers, Amazon Prime has seen the official ratings slip to a season low.
Via SportsMediaWatch.com, the Week 10 games between the Falcons an the Panthers averaged 6.8 million viewers. That’s the smallest audience of 2022.
It also dragged the season average under 10 million for the first time. Currently, with nine games played, Amazon’s average viewership is 9.65 million.
Amazon disagrees with the Nielsen numbers, because of course it does. Amazon insists that the season average is 11.4 million.
Whatever the real numbers, they’ll be getting better. In two nights, the Packers host the Titans. Then, after taking a week off for Thanksgiving, it’s Bills at Patriots. Then Raiders at Rams. (OK, that one won’t be so good.) Next, 49ers at Seahawks. After that, Jaguars at Jets. (Thanks to the home team, it should do well — especially in the local market via broadcast TV.)
The Amazon season ends with Cowboys at Titans. The key there is “Cowboys.” They’ll deliver, even if they were playing a team from the WGAFFL.
So, yes, the numbers will improve. Still, they’ll likely fall short of the preseason expectations.
But that’s fine. The expectations were always too high. Coming close should count as a win, especially in the first year of the NFL’s streaming experiment.