Amazon Prime Video TNF viewership down 41% from 2021 NFL season - report

Amazon’s coverage of NFL Thursday Night Football on Prime Video ended 2022 with an average of 9.6 million viewers per game – lower than the sports package’s average viewership in 2021.

According to Sports Business Journal’s John Ourand, TNF’s audience decreased by 41% from the 16.2 million viewers it had in 2021, the last year Fox had control of TNF rights. This figure encompassed viewership across Fox, the NFL Network, Amazon as well as local channels.

The closing NFL season marked Amazon’s first year as TNF’s exclusive rights holder, with the company paying around $1 billion annually for the package through 2033. TNF’s previous audience low, per SBJ, was an averaged 14 million viewers during the 2020 season.

Amazon’s TNF coverage saw a sizable initial reception, with 13 million people tuning into the September 15 matchup between the Kansas City Chiefs and Los Angeles Chargers, and that inaugural game drove record Prime membership signups.

Aside from streaming and local markets, TNF games are also available via satellite across 300,000 bars and restaurants in the U.S., thanks to a partnership between Amazon and DirecTV.

Despite the drop in audience from the prior NFL season, TNF on Prime Video has helped reel in younger viewers. According to SBJ, the median age for the 2022-23 season was 47 – the lowest it’s been for a full NFL season since 2013. That median age is about seven years younger than that of the average audience on the NFL’s other sports packages.

Part of why TNF is seeing more engagement with younger viewers, said TNF news analyst Michael Smith at Advertising Week in October, is because the NFL is meeting that audience where they already are – on their devices and on digital platforms. Amazon’s TNF viewership for the 18-34 demographic was up 11% this season, per SBJ.

FuboTV CEO and co-founder David Gandler commented this week he’s “not sure Thursday Night Football is driving anything” in terms of user engagement for Amazon, arguing most people subscribe to Prime for the delivery and not because they are specifically interested in TNF.

Although the NFL’s 2022 regular season technically ends on January 8, Amazon wrapped up its TNF coverage on December 29, as the league doesn’t host its weekly TV packages right before the NFL playoffs.

Instead, the NFL is holding several matches this Saturday and Sunday. Those games will be available across ABC, Fox, CBS, NBC and ESPN (including ESPN+) as well as on the virtual MVPDs that carry those networks.