Shift of Thursday Night Football to streaming drops average NFL viewership from 17.1 million to 16.7 million

Super Bowl LII - Philadelphia Eagles v New England Patriots
Getty Images

The shift of Thursday Night Football from Fox to Amazon was expected to decrease total viewership of NFL games in 2022. And it did.

Via Austin Karp of Sports Business Journal, the NFL averaged 16.7 million viewers for the 2022 regular season. That’s a three-percent dip from 2021, when average viewership was 17.1 million.

Karp notes that, but for the natural drop in viewership when shifting a major package from broadcast TV to streaming, viewership likely would have increased by a percentage in the low single digits.

For Fox, CBS and NBC, the average went up from 2021 to 2022. For  ESPN, Amazon, and NFL Network, the number went down.

NBC had the highest average viewership, at 19.9 million. It also had the highest average viewership for all NFL pregame shows at 7.24 million, despite my continued involvement in it.

21 responses to “Shift of Thursday Night Football to streaming drops average NFL viewership from 17.1 million to 16.7 million

  1. Are you sure it wasn’t because of the horrendous games that they had on Thursday nights?

  2. Barely a drop at all. Good to see these dinosaurs finally moving into the 21st century.

  3. agluttonforpunishment says:
    January 10, 2023 at 5:05 pm

    Are you sure it wasn’t because of the horrendous games that they had on Thursday nights?
    —————-

    Can you honestly say that this year was different than any of the previous years?

    The most watched game every week is the Sunday night one on NBC. NBC averaged 19.9 mil, the “horrendous” Thursday games are averaging around 16.9 mil, around 15% less than what is arguably the best game of the week (considering they are picking the teams playing months before the season starts), so all-in-all you say it is really that much of a drop off even before..

  4. Ugh. I would question those numbers.

    You really wanna believe as many people pay for bloody Amazon prime as have cable? And those people are NFL fans.

    The difference is 400k. Statistically insignificant.

    Sorry, I’m just not buying it.

  5. Think Amazon has to be happy with this. Still many don’t subscribe to streaming sources. Unless you have broadband it just doesn’t work.

  6. I don’t think the issue is streaming but rather paying $139.99 per year to watch games that were free a year ago. It’s one thing to pay a TV streaming service monthly and another to pay a movie streaming service on top of that TV streaming service you use. Poor choice by the NFL in my opinion.

  7. It takes me 10 minutes to get to the game on Amazon Prime and it took me one second to get to it last year. I rarely watched because it just wasn’t worth it.

  8. I think Amazon did just fine. I pick and choose what i want to watch in the pregame and the announcing team is a lot better than I thought it would be.

    Amazon looked like they had been doing this for years. Meanwhile the CBS teams at some of these games can’t even follow the ball for 5-10 plays per game. We’re always watching player standing around while the ball is moving on the field.

  9. It takes me 10 minutes to get it going, too. Plus, the picture pixilates. Feels like old technology. I watched the games anyway.

  10. 10 minutes to get it going? Need to have broadband? It should take you 30 seconds to get the game on and if you don’t have broadband in 2023, well, I just don’t know. Boomers getting angry at the newfangled tech, I guess.

  11. Considering the juggernaut that is Amazon Prime -and 200 million subscribers IS a juggernaut – getting to within 3% of what used to be brainless as step 1 has to be considered a decent beginning. And that is in spite of games of such objectively poor quality that, yes, for the first time the media was all over the issue searching for causes. Short week, injuries, and union rules for practice limits all were in the dialog mix. And that’s on top of some boring matchups.

    As a 66-year old, now 100% streamer, I couldn’t be more pleased to see sports becoming more software defined. If only Congress could kick NFL in the ass to fix the idiotic blackout rules, streaming viewership would explode.

  12. You really wanna believe as many people pay for bloody Amazon prime as have cable?
    —–
    Well prime is more than just a streaming app. I couldn’t imagine shopping without it, the streaming is just a perk for our family. It’s the same day/one day shipping that got us to sign up originally.

  13. “Waiting all day for Sunday night” best matchups, best pre-game show and song, it feels like a special event every week and love seeing Florio live and all suited up!

  14. nfl1920 says:
    January 10, 2023 at 5:49 pm
    Those numbers are not real. Viewership much lower than that. It’s an awful presentation.

    ________________________________________________________________________________________

    You know this just because that is what you think? The shows were done pretty good in general. The adds suck, but it is no worse than adds on cable. Amazon has 150 million subscribers in the US alone so the numbers are easily real. People who have buffering and viewing issues need to blame the right thing, It is not Amazons fault or even your internet service suppliers fault. 99% of the time, it is the home network and your choice of internet service. Crappy, slow network and service you get crappy slow streaming with buffering and slow loading. Don’t blame Amazon for your own network. That is like blaming Ford because you ran out of gas.

  15. mrhogan0518 says:
    January 10, 2023 at 6:15 pm
    It takes me 10 minutes to get it going, too. Plus, the picture pixilates. Feels like old technology. I watched the games anyway.

    __________________________________________________________________________________________________

    It is probably old technology, in your home. The quality of the service is not on Amazon. It is your network and internet service. Why can’t people just understand that buffering and loading times along with picture quality is 99% related to their home network and stop blaming streaming in general?

  16. jonny668 says:
    January 10, 2023 at 7:00 pm
    10 minutes to get it going? Need to have broadband? It should take you 30 seconds to get the game on and if you don’t have broadband in 2023, well, I just don’t know. Boomers getting angry at the newfangled tech, I guess.
    ====================================================================================================
    Its always amazing to me that people lobby insults for things that are out of someones control. There are LOTS of places in this country that dont have broadband. That is the problem. My internet is good enough to stream, but I dont have broadband, and the providers refuse to invest in the infrastructure to get it down to my area. Does that make me some how less than you because my neighborhood doesnt have broadband? Grow up. I guess I’m a 40 year old “boomer” cuz I dont have broadband.

  17. I watched all the TNF games on my crappy, old laptop without any issues at all. I live in a rural area (very rural) but I do have mid-level broadband. I can understand the frustrations of some who don’t have a need, or the ability, to have a sufficient connection to watch the games.

    But the wishful bitterness shown here is embarrassing. Those numbers aren’t correct? Based on what? It’s not 3%, it’s 30% down? Based on what? This is petulant, schoolyard bickering. You don’t have to like everything that happens in the world, but pretending things are worse than they are is pointless, and this streaming deal isn’t going away.

    I’ve always wondered why the NFL hasn’t invested in it’s own PPV channel separate from the NFL Network.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.