After seeing big viewership gains for “Thursday Night Football” on Prime Video this past NFL season, Amazon is getting its hand on an extra bit of pigskin for the next one.
Amazon’s Prime Video will have exclusive U.S. rights to one NFL playoff game in the 2024-25 season, Variety confirmed. The news was first reported by the Wall Street Journal.
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Last year NBCUniversal had acquired the first-ever exclusive streaming rights to an NFL playoff game in the U.S., which it put on Peacock. The game — the AFC Wild Card matchup between the Kansas City Chief and the Miami Dolphins on Jan. 13, 2024 — delivered an average audience of 23 million viewers, according to NBCU.
NBCU didn’t quantify the lift in Peacock subscriptions the streaming-only game yielded, research firm Antenna estimated Peacock saw a total of 2.8 million sign-ups over NFL Wild Card Game weekend. According to Antenna, that makes the Chiefs-Dolphins game the single biggest subscriber acquisition event it has ever measured.
Under its 11-year deal with the league, Amazon had first dibs on an NFL playoff game for Prime Video this past season — but passed, whereupon Peacock swooped in and acquired the rights. A source familiar with the dealings said Peacock didn’t “lose” the rights to the playoff game next season but that rather Amazon earned it through performance triggers baked in to the “Thursday Night Football” deal.
In 2023, Prime Video presented the very first NFL “Black Friday” game — which the tech giant is hoping will become a new Thanksgiving-weekend tradition on the national sports calendar. In the Nov. 24 inaugural “Black Friday Football” game, the Miami Dolphins defeated the New York Jets.
According to Nielsen, Prime Video’s second season of exclusive “Thursday Night Football” registered a 24% increase among total average viewers over the previous season (11.86 million vs. 9.58 million). The median age of Prime Video’s “TNF” audience was approximately seven years younger than those watching NFL games on linear TV networks — and nearly 14 years younger than audiences watching primetime broadcast television during the fall 2023 season. The Nov. 30 Seahawks-Cowboys game attracted 15.3 million viewers, making it Prime Video’s most watched “TNF” to date.
“We’re still very much at the beginning, but ‘Thursday Night Football’s’ record growth in our second season is beyond encouraging as we work to super serve fans and advertisers,” Jay Marine, VP, Prime Video, and global head of sports, said in a statement released in January. “We are building ‘TNF on Prime’ into an incredibly valuable franchise, and our production and tech teams deserve a great deal of credit for the quality and innovation we have delivered to fans, and we are just getting started.”
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