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 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.
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.
They are active in their personal and professional lives, and more likely to participate in these activities in the next 12 months:
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
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%).
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.
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.