Amazon is reportedly experiencing a noticeable drop in ratings for their “Thursday Night Football” program.
This is Amazon Prime Video’s first year of broadcasting the TNF package, taking over for the FOX network that ran it from 2018 to 2021. Amazon’s first broadcast, a Week 2 game between the Kansas City Chiefs and Los Angeles Chargers, did very well in terms of viewership.
But it’s been all downhill ever since. Citing Nielsen’s date, Front Office Sports posted the following graphic which shows just how much viewership for “Thursday Night Football” has dropped over the last four weeks.
Of course, it’s worth noting that the NFL had serious competition on Thursday last week. The Houston Astros and New York Yankees (one of America’s premier market teams), were playing in Game 2 of the ALCS that day.
Many fans were also tuning into the two marquee NBA games of that night, the Milwaukee Bucks vs. the Philadelphia 76ers and the Los Angeles Lakers vs. the Los Angeles Clippers.
But the drop in viewership should be concerning to Amazon Prime Video officials, considering that the company is paying around $1 billion annually for the TNF broadcasts.
This week’s Thursday nighter should fare pretty well in the ratings, however. The Lamar Jackson-led Baltimore Ravens are coming to Tampa Bay to take on the Buccaneers, who are led by the league’s most well-known and marketed player in quarterback Tom Brady. Also, there won’t be any MLB postseason action for the NFL to compete with that night.
Amazon hired legendary sports commentator Al Michaels to work play-by-play for their Thursday night broadcasts, with ESPN College GameDay analyst Kirk Herbstreit serving as the color commentator.
In 2021, the NFL signed new broadcast agreements that included extensions with FOX, NBC, CBS and ESPN/ABC, with Amazon coming aboard as the league’s newest broadcast partner.