Amazon says the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship cut into streaming on its Prime Video service last April, to the point where it had its fewest number of streams for the year.
It’s one part of a report Amazon released on the year in streaming for 2017. While the effects of the NCAA Tournament is just one part of Amazon’s year, it also shows that live sports on TV still can reign supreme over all platforms.
The fact that the NCAA Championship can have this impact on Amazon is one reason why the online service is now becoming a player for live sports. It streamed Thursday Night Football and won the rights in the United Kingdom to stream the men’s tennis tour. There are also reports that Amazon is interested in the UK rights for the English Premier League.
Amazon also noted that per capita, Washington, D.C. watched TNF the most in the United States through Prime Video, followed by Washington state and Colorado. It said the Oct. 5 game between the New England Patriots and Tampa Bay Buccaneers commandeered a global audience of 1.7 million viewers for both the pregame show and the actual contest, though the report doesn’t say if the viewers stayed with the entire game or just watched for a short length of time.
Overall, 1.5 million viewers either clicked or tapped on a link to watch Pats-Bucs worldwide.
But the interesting takeaway is that a big event like the NCAA Championship can reduce the number of streams on Amazon Video. It wasn’t other major events like the Super Bowl, World Series, or a non-sports program like the Academy Awards, but college basketball.
It goes to show that the NCAA Championship still can attract numbers in a way that can affect other platforms.