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Amazon beats own expectations for Thursday Night Football streaming debut

Amazon reportedly outperforms its own viewing expectations for last week's streaming debut of Thursday Night Football.

Video Transcript

DAVE BRIGGS: Another nail in the linear TV coffin perhaps with news of a spectacular opening audience for Amazon streaming Thursday Tonight Football debut. Amazon Prime averaged 13 million viewers of the Chiefs Chargers game, easily surpassing the 8.84 million that watched the NFL Network window in that same time frame last season, and in line with the 12.8 million average viewership for Thursday night games last season.

One caveat, 13 million does include 1.16 million over the air viewers in LA and Kansas City. But this is far better than this guy would have guessed. Frankly, Rachelle, I thought this number would be between eight and 10, which is where it'll be tonight because they've got Cleveland and Pittsburgh. But that's a whole nother deal. They've got to be doing the touchdown dance here.

RACHELLE AKUFFO: I mean, you'd have to be. I mean, a lot of people were wondering what was going to happen. And the fact that it's so much more that people were expecting, I think this is fantastic. I think you have your combination of sports fans who loved it, you have your combination of people who already have Amazon Prime getting to see this as well. So I think this is a real win for Amazon.

Now obviously, it does depend, this is just the first showing. So we'll have to see if they can keep up this pace. But at least right out the gate, at least doing well for now.

SEANA SMITH: Doing very, very well. I think this number is really blowing away a lot of people within the industry. I think they were thinking that Amazon was going to do well. I don't know if people were thinking that they would do this well right off the bat. And even in the release that we got from Amazon earlier this week before we got these numbers, the head of sports there basically saying that this has been a resounding success.

So they are very, very excited about the streaming numbers, numbers of people tuning in. I think the big question down the road is these new prime subscribers talking about Amazon more broadly speaking, how sticky those subscribers are, what that number looks like six months from now after football season, if they're willing to stick around, and continue to pay that prime membership.

DAVE BRIGGS: Well, as they said, best three hour time frame sign up, even topping Prime Day. And one more thing for the advertisers. The average age of the audience was 46. That's comparable-- six years younger, seven years younger than the 53 year average from last year. So same number of people, more younger eyeballs, advertisers love that. It should be interesting to see if they can keep it up.

SEANA SMITH: We certainly do. I thought it was great. But like we said before, there was no real wow factor to the first.

DAVE BRIGGS: No.

SEANA SMITH: First week. So we'll see--

DAVE BRIGGS: It looked like ABC, NBC, CBS, and--

SEANA SMITH: It did. I don't know. Maybe they'll jazz it up a little bit tonight--

DAVE BRIGGS: They're going to have to.

SEANA SMITH: We'll have to wait and see. We'll see.

DAVE BRIGGS: Pittsburgh, Cleveland, good luck with that.

SEANA SMITH: We're going to find it out in a couple hours.