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Amazon’s ‘Thursday Night Football’ Draws 13 Million Viewers: Nielsen

Los Angeles Chargers vs. Kansas City Chiefs on 'Thursday Night Football'
Amazon says 13 million tuned into ‘Thursday Night Football’s‘ Sept. 15 debut on the platform. (Image credit: Cooper Neill/Getty Images)

Amazon Prime Video’s first regular-season edition of NFL Thursday Night Football on September 15 drew 13 million viewers, according to Nielsen.

The viewership figure for the Los Angeles Chargers-Kansas City Chiefs matchup was up 47% from a year ago, when the Week 2 Thursday night game appeared nationally only on NFL Network.

Adding Amazon’s own first-party measurement to Nielsen’s total, Amazon said the football game averaged 15.3 million viewers.

Last year, when Thursday Night Football was televised by Fox, Prime Video and NFL Network, it averaged 16.4 million.

This is the first year of an 11-year deal under which Amazon Prime will stream Thursday Night Football as the exclusive national distributor.

Amazon reportedly told advertisers that it expected an average audience of 12.6 million viewers for its games. 

Amazon hired Nielsen to measure viewership of TNF for sponsors.

Earlier, Amazon had said that the Chiefs-Chargers game had generated record signups for Amazon Prime.

Amazon also noted that its presentation of TNF drew more younger viewers than games attracted last year. The average viewer on Amazon Prime was 46, six years younger than the linear NFL audience through Week 2 this season and seven years younger than last year’s TNF audience.

Ratings among adults 18 to 34 was 18% higher than the average of NFL telecasts this season and TNF had more viewers in that demographic than any other NFL game this season. 

Local ratings on broadcast TV for the game included 602,000 viewers in L.A. and 555,000 viewers in Kansas City. During Amazon’s pre-season TNF game, a huge share of viewers watched on broadcast in the teams’ home markets. ■

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.