SEATTLE—Amazon is reporting total audiences for the first ever season of Thursday Night Football games to be exclusively streamed that are higher than the numbers reported by Nielsen but still significantly down from the previous season when the NFL package was shared by Fox, the NFL Network, Amazon and local broadcast channels.
Amazon reported that the Thursday games during the 2022-23 season attracted an average audience of 11.3 million, higher than Nielsen’s 9.58 million average audience but significantly down from the 16.2 million viewers the games averaged a year earlier.
The data is notable given the shift in overall sports rights from broadcast and cable to streaming. The 41% decline in the Nielsen numbers from 16.2 million to 9.58 million might indicate problems for streamers hoping to attract the audiences and advertising revenue previously earned by broadcasters.
On the plus side, the streamer was able to attract more younger viewers, which is notable given the difficulties of reaching young viewers via broadcast and pay TV.
Amazon reported that TNF on Prime’s had a median age that was the youngest in a decade for a full-season NFL package. TNF on Prime also finished up +11% in P18-34 compared to last season and men 18-34 were up 18% vs. last season, registering the largest year-over-year jump for an NFL package in that demo in nine years.
The median age of viewers also dropped to 47 on TNF, seven years younger than the median age of those watching the NFL on linear TV, and the streamed games attracted audiences with higher incomes.
TNF on Prime viewers earned a Median Household Income of $98,500, which is 19% higher than audiences watching the NFL on linear networks ($82,800), Amazon said.
“Amazon has earned a strong reputation for making big bets, and given the unprecedented scale of this challenge and the hallowed place that NFL coverage holds among millions of fans, the launch of Thursday Night Football ranks high among our most ambitious enterprises,” said Jay Marine, vice president, Prime Video, and global head of sports. “We are only at the beginning of a long-term mission, but are ecstatic with the results and achievements of this first season, bringing millions of new viewers to Prime Video every week.”
According to Amazon, key metrics for the TNF season include:
- According to Amazon’s first-party viewership measurement, Thursday Night Football on Prime Video averaged 11.3 million viewers (AMA) during the 2022 season.
- According to Nielsen Media Research figures alone, Thursday Night Football on Prime Video averaged 9.58 million viewers per game (including OTA and OOH) during the 2022 season.
- Thursday Night Football’s average audience crossed the 10-million mark six times during the 2022 season, ranking TNF games high among the most watched events in all of television.
- According to Nielsen, the 15-game average of each TNF stream’s peak viewership was 11.30 million.
- Throughout the 2022 season, fans watching TNF on Prime held a median age of 47 years old, which is seven years younger than the average median age of viewers watching the NFL on linear TV.
- TNF on Prime finished the season with the lowest median age for a full-season slate of games since 2013, and registered the largest median age gap on record between a stand-alone NFL package and the rest of the NFL packages.
- TNF on Prime’s average viewership among P18-34 was 2.11 million, up +11% compared to 2021 on FOX, NFLN + PV (1.90 million).
- Among P18-34, TNF won the night all 15 times across broadcast and cable programming throughout the 2022 season.
- TNF won the week in the P18-34 demographic four times during the 2022 season.
- Throughout the 2022 season, 22% of TNF on Prime’s viewers were in the P18-34 demographic, compared to 14% of viewers watching the NFL on linear networks. Throughout the fall season, only 7% of viewers watching prime time on linear are in the P18-34 demographic.
- Among M18-34, the 2022 TNF season finished up +18% vs. 2021, registering the largest year-over-year jump in that demo for an NFL package since 2014.
- TNF games, The TNF Postgame, TNF Nightcap and TNF Tonight were the 1st-, 2nd-, 4th-, and 5th-ranked shows on average across broadcast and cable among M18-34 viewers on Thursdays throughout the fall season.
- TNF on Prime’s average viewership among P18-49 was 4.70 million viewers.
- Among P18-49, TNF won the night all 15 times across broadcast and cable programming throughout the 2022 season.
- Throughout the 2022 season, TNF’s P18-49 viewership crossed the 5-million mark four times.
- Throughout the 2022 season, 49% of TNF on Prime’s viewers were in the P18-49 demographic, versus 35% of viewers watching the NFL on linear. 22% of viewers watching prime-time television on linear are in the P18-49 demographic.
- TNF Outperforms Prime-Time Linear Programming this Fall Season
- In its first season exclusively on a streaming service, Thursday Night Football on Prime Video was the most watched program on Thursday nights 13 of 15 times this season, outperforming all head-to-head broadcast and cable programming among total viewers P2+.
- Thursday Night Football Leads in Viewer Engagement. TNF on Prime viewers devoted 85 Average Minutes Watched per game this season, nine minutes longer (+12 %) when compared to viewers of linear NFL telecasts (one-minute qualifier, P2+).
- Despite no lead-in programming, TNF Tonight attracted an average audience (P2+) of 1.12 million viewers throughout the 2022 season; 229,000 among P18-34; and 158,000 among M18-34; 519,000 among P18-49.
- Throughout the 2022 season, The TNF Postgame Show attracted an average audience (P2+) of 3.32 million viewers; 816,000 among P18-34; 568,000 among M18-34; and 1.87 million among P18-49.
- Throughout the fall season, The TNF Postgame Show ranks 2nd among prime-time linear programming on Thursdays in the P18-34 demographic.
- Throughout the 2022 season, TNF Nightcap attracted an average audience (P2+) of 1.68 million viewers; 431,000 among P18-34; 302,000 among M18-34; and 987,000 among P18-49.
- According to Nielsen, throughout the 2022 season, TNF on Prime viewers earned a Median Household Income of $98,500, which is 19% higher than audiences watching the NFL on linear networks ($82,800).