Sep 22, 2022 - Economy

Amazon’s first-ever exclusive NFL game drew big numbers

Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

Roughly 13 million people watched last week's Thursday Night Football game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Los Angeles Chargers, an impressive figure considering it was the first game ever streamed exclusively on Amazon.

Why it matters: The numbers prove that audiences will continue to watch football, even if it's not aired on traditional television.

Details: The close game between the Chiefs and the Chargers averaged 13.03 million viewers on Amazon and via over-the-air viewing in the two teams' local markets.

  • On average, 11.87 million watched the game exclusively via streaming on Amazon Prime Video. Another 1.16 million watched the game via local over-the-air broadcasts, per The Hollywood Reporter.
  • Amazon partnered with DirecTV to air their games in over 300,000 sports bars, restaurants, hotels and other venues outside of homes, as a way to ensure that those without high-speed broadband can access games.
  • The final numbers, including out-of-home viewing, aren't yet available.

Be smart: The match drew more eyeballs than the Thursday night game that aired during the same week last year between the then-Washington Football Team and the New York Giants.

  • That game averaged 7.33 million viewers on the NFL Network and 1.51 million viewers on over-the-air broadcasts in local markets.

By the numbers: According to Amazon, its broadcast drew a younger audience, on average, than a typical NFL game on linear television.

  • The average viewer of its broadcast last Thursday was 46-year-old, compared to the average viewer of NFL games during the same week this year on linear television, which was 53 years old.

The big picture: Amazon’s Thursday Night Football debut tonight marked a seminal moment for the media industry, which is grappling with digital's takeover of traditional television.

  • Big Tech firms have increasingly been gobbling up expensive sports rights packages that can help them lure customers to their core businesses.
  • Amazon previously said in a memo obtained by CNBC that the game drew a record number of new signups to Amazon Prime over a three-hour period, surpassing any previous Black Friday or Cyber Monday record.

Go deeper: Amazon's historic NFL debut

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