Amazon Boosts Monetization Effort Ahead of ‘Thursday Night Football’ Kickoff

Amazon Prime Video, NFL, Thursday Night Football

Amazon has unveiled a last-minute push to ensure the success and returns it makes on its reported $1 billion annual outlay for rights to NFL Thursday Night Football (TNF).

Although unknowns abound as the property moves from broadcast TV to subscription streaming, Amazon’s use of perks and promos within its Prime subscriber ecosystem are aimed as much at making money as they are at retraining fans.

To begin with, Amazon reportedly alerted advertisers that viewership will be in the vicinity of 12.5 million viewers, according to Ad Age, which is lower than what Fox was averaging in broadcast, calling TNF ad expenditures into question under the streaming model.

In a move meant to quell advertiser concerns, Amazon also cut a three-year deal with Nielsen in August to measure viewership, noting in that announcement that “this will be the first time a streaming service will have one of its live programs measured as part of Nielsen’s National TV measurement service.”

In a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” response, some advertisers took issue with Nielsen’s first time out measuring live streaming.

However, Amazon Ads Director of Media Measurement Srishti Gupta said, “Our collaboration with Nielsen will allow us to provide advertisers with familiar campaign measurement to make apples-to-apples comparisons across their multi-channel media investments.”

See also: Amazon Piles on the Prime Perks to Kick off Thursday Night Football Coverage

Gupta said there will be additional “metrics from Amazon that will provide actionable insights to understand brand awareness, engagement, and sales.”

The eCommerce giant announced Tuesday (Sept. 13) that DraftKings has signed on as official sponsor of TNF on Amazon Prime in a multi-year agreement, offering up a big chunk of the 1.5 million average Monthly Unique Payers (MUPs) DraftKings reported in its second quarter 2022.

Per that announcement, “As part of the multi-year agreement, TNF will contain DraftKings integrations in the live pregame, including odds and additional sports betting insights. DraftKings and Amazon will also collaborate on TNF-themed offerings, including same-game parlays, which will be available on the DraftKings Sportsbook app.”

Gridiron Goals

Leaving little to chance, Amazon is on the PR warpath pumping up the Prime Video TNF experience with extras like inviting some subscribers to “enjoy one-of-a-kind gameday experiences, including reserved seating and retired player meet-and-greets.”

According to that Amazon blog, there’s also an “interactive viewing party, as the Los Angeles Chargers take on the Kansas City Chiefs. More than 250 Prime members who added Thursday Night Football to their Prime Video Watchlist will join us at the ‘Amazon Prime Night of Football,’ to watch the game on oversized LED screens — enabled with fan-favorite interactive features like X-Ray and Next Gen Stats powered by AWS — alongside live commentary from Jerry Rice and other NFL legends.”

Not that streaming as a whole — or Amazon Prime TNF specifically — is struggling, but recent data suggests that people engaged with streaming entertainment less over the summer.

According to the September 2022 edition of “The ConnectedEconomy™ Monthly Report: The Work-From-Anywhere Summer Edition,” based on a survey of close to 2,800 consumers, streaming saw a slight 1.8% decrease in engagement into late summer.

Read more: The ConnectedEconomy™ Monthly Report: The Work-From-Anywhere Summer Edition

However, the return of cold weather and new Prime Video tentpole series like “Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power” are drawing new subscribers and loads of attention to Prime Video, which is counting on the upbeat press to bolster its massive NFL investment.

There’s also a heavy merchandising push, with Amazon establishing its TNF store and offering “official NFL-licensed products like replica player jerseys, premium licensed apparel, and headwear.

“Deals include home entertainment devices and Fanshop deals on NFL-licensed products, some starting just in time for kickoff on September 15, including savings of up to 25% on select NFL gear like apparel, tailgate essentials, footwear, and drinkware. With one membership you can enhance your watch party and save big all season long.”