Twitter has streamed three Thursday Night Football games thus far. Advertisers who look at the numbers of live streams feel “underwhelmed” in the early stages. And while Twitter will have seven more games to stream, Advertising Age says one client is so disappointed with the numbers that it could seek make-good ads for other programming.

For the first two games, Twitter has averaged 285,000 average-minute viewers (243,000 for Jets-Bills and 327,000 for Texans-Patriots). Twitter was hoping for 500,000 viewers, but it did not guarantee advertisers those numbers.

Advertising Age quotes one ad executive as being disappointed:

“We’re seeing a significant under-delivery from Twitter for our spots,” the agency executive said, speaking on condition of anonymity. “The problem is people aren’t watching full games.”

However, one advertiser, Bank of America, was satisfied noting that Bills-Jets hit 2.1 million total views when it expected 1.5 million.

Overall, viewers are watching on Twitter for an average of 22 minutes and with advertisers hoping that they’ll see their commercials at least three times during a game, that amount only means that they’re seeing their ads only once.

And while the audience has been good for online, the numbers are not “TV-good” and that’s where the disappointment for the advertisers is coming in. Twitter has been hoping to attract audiences with live sports and obtaining the rights for Thursday Night Football was seen as a big test for the social media service.

But Twitter’s contract is not exclusive as Verizon Wireless customers can stream TNF on mobiles and the NFL app is streaming the games on tablets so that may have hurt the Twitter numbers.

The Twitter streaming experience is overall good and there have not been complaints about buffering or lagging, but as sponsors look to see how many people will watch the games online, early on, the numbers have not added up as Twitter had hoped.

[Advertising Age]

About Ken Fang

Ken has been covering the sports media in earnest at his own site, Fang's Bites since May 2007 and at Awful Announcing since March 2013.

He provides a unique perspective having been an award-winning radio news reporter in Providence and having worked in local television.

Fang celebrates the three Boston Red Sox World Championships in the 21st Century, but continues to be a long-suffering Cleveland Browns fan.