Almost Half of Amazon Prime Video's ‘Thursday Night Football’ Viewers Watched on Local Broadcast

San Francisco 49ers vs. Houston Texans in NFL preseason football on Aug. 25, 2022.
Some 48% of those who watched Amazon Prime Video’s August 25 49ers-Texans preseason NFL telecast did so via over-the-air TV, per TVB. (Image credit: Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

Amazon paid big bucks for the exclusive national broadcast rights to stream NFL Thursday Night Football starting this season, but 48% of the viewership for Prime Video’s first preseason game came via local broadcast, the TVB pointed out.

When the San Francisco 49ers played the Houston Texans on August 25, 1.04 million total viewers tuned in, according to Nielsen, hired by Amazon to count eyeballs for its advertisers.

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But the TVB, which represents local stations, took a closer look at Nielsen’s NPower system and found that KTVU San Francisco drew 264,355 of those total viewers while KRIV Houston drew 229,780 impressions. Combined, the stations represented 494,135 impressions.

The NFL ensures that fans in the teams’ local market can watch games on cable and streaming via free over-the-air TV in order to placate lawmakers and preserve the league’s antitrust exemption.

“The power of local broadcast TV and major sports franchises couldn't be more clear. Football enthusiasts love their home teams and overwhelmingly choose to watch their games on hometown TV stations,” TVB CEO Steve Lanzano said. “Just two local broadcast TV stations in San Francisco and Houston easily attracted 48% of Amazon's national delivery, and that’s just preseason!”

Amazon did not return a request for comment before this story was published.

Prime Video’s first regular-season Thursday Night Football game is September 15 when the Los Angeles Chargers visit the Kansas City Chiefs. ■

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.