How Thursday Night Football audiences on Prime Video and Twitch compare to linear NFL viewers
May 10, 2022
For the first time in history, the #1 weeknight primetime broadcast, Thursday Night Football, is moving exclusively to a streaming service, with Prime Video and the NFL signing an 11-year agreement to broadcast 15 Thursday Night Football games and one pre-season game per year in the US. Starting in September, Amazon will become the exclusive home for Thursday Night Football. Customers will continue to enjoy innovative features like X-Ray and Next Gen Stats, and connect from anywhere through their TVs, mobile devices, and desktops across Fire TV, Prime Video, Amazon, and Twitch.
As our customers enjoy premium-quality, action-packed, interactive viewing experiences, advertisers will have a great opportunity to reach passionate sports fans through streaming. According to eMarketer’s projection, the digital live sports audience is only getting bigger - one-third of the US population (118M people) are predicted to stream live sports in 2025, a 71% increase compared to 2021.1
The 2021 TNF season on Prime Video and Twitch was part of the multicast with FOX and NFL Network. Amazon streamed 11 regular season Thursday Night Football games on Prime Video and Twitch. In this blog post, we will reference Amazon TNF viewers throughout. They are streaming viewers who watched Thursday Night Football on Prime Video or Twitch in the 2021 season. Along with Amazon’s first-party insights of 2021 TNF audiences and brand lift measurement studies conducted by Kantar, we’ve put together a deep dive to better understand how those streaming live sports differ from NFL viewers on traditional linear TV.
Below, we dig into our five key takeaways from the study:
Amazon’s TNF viewers are a younger adult, tech-savvy, cord-cutter audience2
Amazon TNF viewers skew younger than traditional linear NFL viewers. 63% of Amazon TNF viewers fall under the adult GenZ and Millennial audience, over-indexing 140 against linear NFL viewers. On average, Amazon TNF viewers self-report to be 5 years younger than linear NFL viewers.
Adult GenZ + Millennial Audience
63% of Amazon TNF viewers
45% of linear NFL viewers
38% of TNF viewers of Amazon self-report that they do not have a pay TV subscription service, which makes them harder to reach via traditional linear TV channels.
These are active and affluent audiences with high purchase propensity3
Amazon TNF viewers are an active and affluent audience with high purchase propensity. They self-report to have a 36% higher household income than linear NFL viewers.
Amazon TNF viewers
Linear NFL viewers
They are active in their personal and professional lives, and more likely to participate in these activities in the next 12 months:
Purchase/lease a car
33% of Amazon TNF viewers
29% of linear NFL viewers
Start a new hobby
26% of Amazon TNF viewers
20% of linear NFL viewers
Get a pet
21% of Amazon TNF viewers
15% of linear NFL viewers
Start own business
15% of Amazon TNF viewers
10% of linear NFL viewers
Buy a new home
14% of Amazon TNF viewers
10% of linear NFL viewers
Start a family
9% of Amazon TNF viewers
4% of linear NFL viewers
They are a highly engaged game audience
In the 2021 TNF season, Amazon TNF viewers on average spent 1.6 hours per game on streaming, 23% higher than the average TNF game viewing time on the linear channels (1.3 hours). This is also a 14% YoY increase from the 2020 season. The majority of Amazon TNF viewers streamed the game on a living room device (79%).4
2021 Amazon TNF average viewing time per game vs. linear TNF: +23% vs. linear TNF
2021 Amazon TNF average viewing time per game vs. 2020: +14% YoY
2021 TNF viewing on a living room device
This is an audience that is highly engaged with brands and ads5
Amazon TNF viewers generally report as more receptive to interacting with brands and responding to relevant advertising messages than linear NFL viewers.
Specific to the TNF viewing in 2021, Amazon TNF viewers self-reported that they showed higher interaction and engagement with brands during the game when compared to linear TNF viewers (87% take some action related to brand vs. 65%).
Search for products
41% of Amazon TNF viewers
26% of linear NFL viewers
Talk about the brand on social media
37% of Amazon TNF viewers
23% of linear NFL viewers
Do research on a retailer website or app
32% of Amazon TNF viewers
21% of linear NFL viewers
Purchase the brand
34% of Amazon TNF viewers
22% of linear NFL viewers
This audience responds to brand messaging
Amazon TNF viewers expressed a high level of satisfaction with streaming TNF games. Better customer experience leads to better advertiser outcomes. Given the high level of viewer satisfaction, it’s no surprise that Amazon TNF viewers responded to brand messaging positively during TNF game viewing. When we tested on brand metrics among TNF viewers vs. non-viewers during the season, we saw significant lifts of brand performance among TNF viewers. They responded to brand ad messages strongly and positively with significantly higher ad recall, brand favorability and consideration intent.
70% of Amazon TNF viewers indicated they’ve had a better experience watching the NFL online/streaming than via linear channels.6
Looking ahead, in a new era of Thursday Night Football exclusively on streaming TV, Amazon Ads can be part of a brand’s strategy to reach millions of NFL fans and offers new opportunities across programming and ads that will delight both fans and advertisers.
1eMarketer, February 2022. https://chart-na1.emarketer.com/247188/us-digital-live-sports-viewers-2021-2025-millions-of-population
22021 TNF Viewer Study, Kantar 2021.
32021 TNF Viewer Study, Kantar 2021.
4Amazon Internal Data, 2022.
52021 TNF Viewer Study, Kantar 2021.
62021 TNF Viewer Study, Kantar 2021.