The first regular season NFL game to air exclusively on Amazon Prime kicked off last Thursday night and the broadcast was a ratings hit.
According to Andrew Marchand of the New York Post, Nielsen measured the Week 2 Kansas City Chiefs–Los Angeles Chargers matchup on Amazon Prime at 13 million viewers. In comparison, Thursday Night Football averaged 13.2 million last year on Fox, while its season premiere on NFL Network garnered an audience of just over 8 million.
For Amazon Prime Video's initial Thursday Night exclusive game between the Chiefs and Chargers, it had 13 million viewers, according to Nielsen.
That is a very strong start for the NFL on streaming.
— Andrew Marchand (@AndrewMarchand) September 22, 2022
Nielsen’s rating measurement, however, does include local broadcast numbers in Kansas City and Los Angeles, and is not a streaming exclusive total. According to Sports Media Watch, Amazon alone averaged around 11.8 million viewers. Per Marchand’s report, Amazon, who is spending $1 billion annually for exclusive TNF rights, believes the total viewership number should be closer to 15 million, but advertisers are likely to rely on Nielsen’s measurement.
The streaming service’s first exclusive TNF broadcast was surely helped by featuring two of the league’s best teams delivering an exciting game. Before Nielsen’s rating was announced, Amazon hinted that a big number was on the way, stating the matchup garnered more Prime sign-ups across a three-hour window than any other day, including Cyber Monday, Black Friday, and Prime Day.
Prior to premiering their first exclusive broadcast, Amazon promised advertisers they would reach 12.5 million viewers. In contrast, Marchand previously reported that league and network executives were expecting the number to land somewhere between seven and eight million viewers. The 13 million measured by Nielsen, albeit not as high as the 15 million Amazon believes tuned in, is still a viewership total that league executives and advertisers should be more than satisfied with.