Despite some ratings hiccups in the first two weeks, including a delay in delivering audience numbers after the first game, advertisers said Amazon’s football streaming experiment is mostly living up to its promise.
The platform is delivering on ratings, advertisers said, even if the average audience is smaller than “Thursday Night Football” on Fox last year. On average, ratings from the first two weeks were down 22% compared to what Fox drew last year, according to a new report from Omnicom Media Group’s Optimum Sports agency. But the agency, and other in-game advertisers, said that ratings are in-line with Amazon’s forecast and that the streaming audience is younger and wealthier than those watching on traditional TV.
Jeremy Carey, chief investment officer at Optimum Sports, said that the agency made a big investment on Amazon’s NFL games this season, including representing two of the most prominent brands, DraftKings and Mercedes-Benz. “We were out there pushing this thing really hard from the get-go,” Carey said, adding that the Amazon bet was “probably double any other holding company out there, in terms of the commitments that we made.”
Optimum Sports is looking at more than just the Nielsen-certified ratings to measure the success of the program. Amazon's early games drew a higher number of 18-to-49-year-olds—8% more than Fox averaged last year.
Amazon bought the rights to stream 15 “Thursday Night Football” games over the next 11 seasons at an estimated $1 billion a year. The overall audience was always expected to be lower than on broadcast TV.
There is “value beyond traditional measurement,” Carey said. “Merging live sports with the largest e-commerce platform in the U.S., there is no better pathway for us toward understanding how our marketing directly attributes to sales.”