The streamer is hoping younger, more affluent viewer demos and ad customization will give it an edge on the field against its broadcast competition.
Nielsen on Wednesday dismissed the Video Advertising Bureau’s earlier complaints about plans to use first-party data from Amazon to measure viewing of Thursday Night Football on Prime Video.
“We recognize this is a period of exceptional change in which all parties are at different stages of their own evolution,” Nielsen CEO of audience measurement business Karthik Rao said in a letter to VAB president and CEO Sean Cunningham. “However, the search for perfection risks further delaying the measurement innovations that will ultimately help drive the industry into the future. We believe that our principled, transparent and open approach to integrating first-party data requires all publishers to play by the same rules and will accelerate the industry’s move toward a streaming-first world.”
The Video Advertising Bureau (VAB), representing television networks, asked Nielsen not to go forward with its plan to incorporate viewing data from Amazon when coming up with the audience estimates advertisers will use to determine how much they pay for commercials on Thursday Night Football on Amazon’s Prime Video.
The football season hasn’t officially started yet, and Amazon.com is already on the verge of scoring a touchdown. Nielsen is planning to incorporate viewing data from streaming services for live programming, a move that will likely boost the ratings for Amazon Prime Video’s Thursday Night Football package and allow it to charge more for commercials. This is the first time Nielsen has agreed to use a company’s own data along with its independent research to publicly report ratings. It only applies for live programming on streaming services and is open to other streamers as well.
Amazon said this season Thursday Night Football sponsors will be able to send different creative messages to different targeted audience groups within the same 30-second commercial position. For example, an automaker could send a sports car spot to younger viewers, an SUV ad to sports and outdoors enthusiasts, and a more general brand spot to the remaining viewers.
National Football League owners were unable to approve a plan to “flex” games to create better matchups for Amazon Prime’s Thursday Night Football and tabled discussions until May. The league and Amazon want to prevent poor matchups in primetime and a proposal would have allowed games to be moved from Sunday to Thursday with 15 days notice.
At league meetings next week, the NFL will discuss ways to improve the matchup quality for Amazon Prime Video’s Thursday Night Football schedule, after last season’s Thursday-night slate became noticeably bereft of competitive games.
Amazon, which last August paid $1 billion for 10-year rights to stream 15 regular season and one pre-season Thursday Night Football games on Prime Video — the NFL’s first exclusive national broadcast package with a digital streaming service — is now offering advertisers refunds or alternate ad inventory after audiences for the just-completed season fell about 25% of Amazon’s preseason estimates, one source says.
The better news? Amazon Prime Video’s median viewer age was seven years younger than any other NFL TV rights package.
LeBron James is partnering with Prime Video to bring a special version of his show Uninterrupted The Shop to Thursday Night Football. James, Maverick Carter, Paul Rivera and special guests will join TNF live from The Shop as an alternate stream offering, starting with the Tennessee Titans and Green Bay Packers game Nov. 17. TNF in The Shop will be an unmatched, watch-party-style experience, according to Prime Video.
By Nielsen’s count, 7.8 million people watched Amazon Prime’s coverage of last Thursday’s NFL game between New Orleans and Arizona. But Amazon says no, there were actually 8.9 million people watching. So which is it? You’ll have to judge for yourself. After each of its Thursday night games this season, Amazon has publicly contracted Nielsen in this manner. Neither company is saying the other is wrong, but neither is backing down, either. The result is confusion, most notably for advertisers.
Pop superstar Taylor Swift will release the teaser trailer for her highly anticipated album, Midnight, during the third quarter of tonight’s Thursday Night Football on Prime Video. Swift made the announcement on her official Twitter account after teasing it on TikTok. “If you tune in to the Thursday Night Football game on Amazon Prime, I’m gonna be showing a first look at the secret projects I’ve been working on very hard for a very long time, getting ready for the Midnights album. And you would see it before the Midnights album came out. So, meet me there?”
The second week of Prime Video’s exclusive Thursday Night Football streams drew an average of 11.03 million viewers for a fairly low-wattage game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cleveland Browns. Nielsen and Amazon said the game marked a 39% improvement over last year’s Week 3 game, which was on on NFL Network. The 2021 game pulled in 7.96 million viewers across the cable channel, local-market stations and out-of-home sites. Nielsen’s tally for this year’s Thursday games rolls together the local stations, out-of-home and Amazon’s Twitch livestream platform.
Kansas City’s 27-24 victory over the Los Angeles Chargers last Thursday averaged 15.3 million viewers across all platforms according to Nielsen and Amazon’s first party measurement. Prime Video Vice President Jay Marine said in a note to staff earlier this week that “our measurement shows that the audience numbers exceeded all of our expectations for viewership.”
The streamer, which once shared “Thursday Night Football” games with Fox, now has exclusive rights to that action and must convince some pigskin Luddites to plug into broadband. Streaming Thursday Night Football, after all, will require a different kind of remote — and familiarity with a home screen, not a cable box. “It is going to be a behavioral shift for people,” acknowledges Jay Marine, VP of Prime Video and its global head of sports. “Our job is to make sure they are able to find Thursday Night Football at its new home and make it as easy as possible to get into the Prime Video app and start streaming.”
With streaming services eager to acquire live content, professional sports leagues in the U.S. are taking the next steps. The NFL will be the latest with Amazon Prime Video’s debut of “Thursday Night Football” when the Los Angeles Chargers take on the Kansas City Chiefs.
The fully remote production launches tonight with a new mobile fleet of 16 that’s producing the games in 1080p with High Dynamic Range with around 250 people onsite for each TNF game. (Courtesy of Prime Video)
Amazon paid big bucks for the exclusive national broadcast rights to stream NFL Thursday Night Football starting this season, but 48% of the viewership for Prime Video’s first preseason game came via local broadcast, according to TVB. Stations in San Francisco and Houston delivered 494,135 impressions.
Amazon’s Prime Video reached a deal with DirecTV to air its Thursday Night Football games in more than 300,000 businesses such as bars and restaurants. The announcement comes as the National Football League’s preseason is underway. DirecTV will air its first game with Amazon Prime Video — a matchup between the San Francisco 49ers and Houston Texans — on Thursday.
To the joy and frustration of football fans across the United States, the era of National Football League games appearing exclusively on a streaming service is upon us. Amazon Prime Video is the home for Thursday Night Football this upcoming season, marking the first time in league history a streaming service will be the solo carrier for a package of national games. The era begins Aug. 25 with a preseason game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Houston Texans. The first regular season game for Amazon will be Sept. 15.
The e-commerce giant wants to give advertisers familiar ratings but hints that it will also leverage purchase data.
DirecTV is reportedly close to securing the rights from Amazon to show NFL Thursday Night Football in restaurants and bars. The news is a relief to establishment owners who claim streaming just doesn’t work in multi-TV environments because of latency issues.
Prime Video’s regular-season debut as the exclusive home of the primetime package comes on Sept. 15 when Kansas City hosts the Los Angeles Chargers. Kaylee Hartung has been hired by Amazon as the sideline reporter while Andrew Whitworth and Aqib Talib have signed on as contributors for pregame, halftime and postgame coverage.
NFL cornerback Richard Sherman will serve as an analyst on Thursday Night Football, Prime Video announced Tuesday. Sherman joins an on-air talent roster that includes legendary play-by-play announcer Al Michaels, five-time Emmy-winning analyst Kirk Herbstreit and Pro Football Hall of Famer Tony Gonzalez. Alongside Gonzalez, Sherman will contribute to coverage of each TNF game, as well as pregame, halftime and postgame segments.
Prime Video‘s exclusive hosting of Thursday Night Football will kick off Sept. 15 with Justin Herbert and the Los Angeles Chargers visiting their AFC West rivals, Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs.
Longtime NFL play-by-play announcer Al Michaels will join tech giant Amazon to lead the company’s Thursday Night Football broadcast booth. Michaels will be paired with ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit in the TNF booth. Amazon announced the new booth today.
The shared Fox/NFL Network broadcast amassed 28.6 million total viewers on Saturday, Sports Media Watch reports, up 42% from the year prior’s Vikings-Saints holiday game. Thursday Night Football in 2022 is moving exclusively to Prime Video.
The tech behemoth, which currently enjoys rights to stream Thursday Night Football and will next year gain exclusive access to the NFL property, will test interest in interactive fan polling during this evening’s game between the New England Patriots and Atlanta Falcons.
Thursday Night Football is coming to Amazon Prime exclusively a year earlier than planned. This coming season will be the last under the league’s “tri-cast” model, which saw games carried across Fox, NFL Network and Amazon. Starting with the 2022 season, TNF will be exclusive to Amazon (with TV stations in the participating teams’ home markets airing those games as well). Amazon is paying more than $1 billion for the rights.