Amazon Scored a Streaming Touchdown With the NFL

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I’m a pinch jealous of Sonny Bunch’s take from a few week’s back. His headline says it all:

First, great Star Wars reference. Second, he’s absolutely right that Amazon has secured a slight edge in the streaming wars by adding a key piece to Prime Video: sports.

In today’s report, we’ll start with Thursday Night Football’s big numbers. Then we’ll check in on the “genre wars”. After that, I’ll look at Cobra Kai’s second week, the return of The Handmaid’s Tale, Fate the Winx Saga and The Great British Baking Show, and a relatively quiet film week.

(Reminder: The streaming ratings report focuses on the U.S. market and compiles data from Nielsen’s weekly top ten viewership ranks, TV Time trend data, company datecdotes, and Netflix hours viewed data, Netflix Top Ten lists, Google Trends, Samba TV, and IMDb to determine the most popular content. While most data points are current, Nielsen’s data covers the weeks of September 12th to September 18th.)

Television – Thursday Night Football Smashes The Week 1 Ratings

Let me be honest: there are lots of great folks who cover sports ratings every week. Tons of them and I respect them all. I’ll pull some of their data today.

But…and you knew a “but” was coming…

…no one does it the way I would.

See, most headlines focus on making simplistic ratings comparisons. The headlines usually read, “The NBA Finals ratings are down!!!” And that’s usually compared to only a single game from the year before, that sometimes aired on a different night or network. Still everyone rushes off to write pieces that the NBA is doomed or what not. (This is repeated for nearly every sport.)

And, of course, no one ever uses charts.

My plan is to finally start dipping my toes in the NFL ratings waters. Now that Amazon’s Prime Video has Thursday Night Football exclusively, we can compare it to other streaming content. But since this is just the first week—as a reminder, my ratings are delayed four weeks until we get Nielsen streaming data—I will avoid making any comparisons of this year’s Thursday Night Football ratings to other football ratings, both from this year and past years, until we have more weeks of data. Because one week just isn’t enough data. The sample size is too small. The first TNF featured a huge market (Los Angeles) and a buzzy team (Kansas City Chiefs), meanwhile last night featured the Chicago Bears vs the Washington Commanders. Those are two big markets, but two very underwhelming teams. So naturally fewer people may watch!

With that caveat, onto the data.

The Data

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The Entertainment Strategy Guy

The Entertainment Strategy Guy

Former strategy and business development guy at a major streaming company. But I like writing more than sending email, so I launched this website to share what I know.


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