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Amazon Expects Fewer Viewers for ‘Thursday Night Football’

  • Amazon expects 12.5 million viewers on average to tune in for "Thursday Night Football."
  • The company purchased the exclusive rights for $1 billion per season.
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Advertisers for “Thursday Night Football” should expect smaller viewerships than in recent years.

Amazon, which purchased exclusive rights to “TNF” for $1 billion per season, reportedly expects 12.5 million viewers to tune in when the games start next month, per Ad Age.  

  • Last year, the most-watched “TNF” game — not including Thanksgiving Day games — reached 20 million viewers, with the lowest-watched bringing in 10 million.
  • NFL games averaged 17.1 million viewers across TV and digital last season and represented 48 of the top 50 TV broadcasts, per the NFL.

With smaller audiences comes lower ad prices. One ad buyer reportedly claims that a 30-second ad spot is going for around $500,000. Last year, Fox averaged $635,439 per 30-second spot.

“I think many marketers are waiting to see how successful this new space will be for the NFL before going all-in on sponsorships,” one executive from a media buying agency said.

Amazon has 80 million active Prime Video households in the U.S. and will produce 15 weeks of “Thursday Night Football” for the next 11 seasons.

Prime Products

The commerce and media giant is reportedly working with sponsors to integrate NFL ad buys into its wider e-commerce ads platform.

“The ‘TNF’ digital broadcasts give brands new ways to connect with fans at scale through interactive features, Twitch, and alternate feeds,” an Amazon spokesperson said. “And a unique combination of first- and third-party metrics enable advertisers to reengage ‘TNF’ audiences.”

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