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Amazon Continues Strong ‘Thursday Night Football’ Viewership

  • TNF viewers are 7 years younger than NFL's linear TV partners.
  • Nielsen pegs the game audience at 11.7M viewers.
Syndication: The Enquirer

Amazon is proving its strong early performance for “Thursday Night Football” was no fluke.

The e-commerce giant averaged 13.4 million viewers across all platforms for its stream of the Cincinnati Bengals’ 27-15 win over the Miami Dolphins, according to Amazon’s first-party measurements and Nielsen Media research.

From Nielsen data alone,TNF on Prime averaged 11.7 million viewers. That’s up 6% from the previous week’s Pittsburgh Steelers at Cleveland Browns game.

During its first two TNF streams this season, Amazon averaged 13.6 million viewers and 15.3 million, respectively. 

Before the season, some sports media observers thought Amazon would struggle to capture 7-8 million viewers.  But TNF has helped Amazon get off to a promising start on an 11-year deal that pays the NFL $1 billion annually.

  • Despite the Dolphins’ home market in Florida being ravaged by Hurricane Ian, TNF outperformed all linear programming across broadcast and cable TV, according to Amazon. The 13.4 million average was higher than Fox Sports’ 11.75 million average for the six-game 2021 World Series between the Atlanta Braves and Houston Astros.
  • The online giant continues to attract younger viewers to the NFL. The median age of Thursday’s audience was 46 years old. That’s seven years younger than viewers on the NFL’s linear TV partners so far this season. 
  • Madison Avenue loves to target the 18-34 group. TNF is averaging 2.8 million viewers for that demographic through three games — 11% higher than other NFL broadcasters for that same age group.

War of Words

During the game, Amazon was ripped online for how it covered Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa’s frightening concussion.

That sparked a war of words between ProFootballTalk and former NFL player turned Amazon analyst Richard Sherman.

As a player, Sherman had warned TNF would endanger the health of players not given enough time to rest and recover between games. When PFT’s Michael David Smith asked why the new Amazon employee ignored the issue after the QB’s injury, Sherman took offense.

“To act as if me working for a network has any bearing on if the game will be played or not is asinine.  We can have a face to face conversation about the issue,” tweeted Sherman.

PFT’s Mike Florio tweeted back: “Richard, you called TNF a ‘poopfest’ and you wrote an entire column called ‘Why I Hate Thursday Night Football.’ That energy was nowhere to be seen from you when it was needed most.”

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