Thursday Night Football Is a Subscriber Success for Prime Video

By Jessica Lerner 

Amazon’s first broadcast of Thursday Night Football was a smashing success.

CNBC reports a record number of new Prime Video subscribers signed up over a three-hour period, surpassing similar times on Prime Day or other significant shopping holidays like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. According to the news outlet, the info comes from a memo to staff from Jay Marine, global head of Amazon’s sports division.

“By every measure, Thursday Night Football on Prime Video was a resounding success,” Marine said in the memo.


Nielsen has not yet made the game’s official viewership figures public, but according to Marine, Amazon’s analysis “shows that the audience figures exceeded all of our viewership estimates.”

This was the first of 15 games that Amazon will air as part of a contract with the National Football League. Amazon will spend around $1 billion annually to stream Thursday Night Football exclusively through 2023.

The streaming service hoped that it could use Thursday Night Football to bring more eyeballs into the Prime Video ecosystem overall, and the news from the memo is promising.

Prime Video is also beefing up its offering to attract fans.

Ahead of the game, Amazon revealed enhanced Alexa features on Fire TV. For instance, fans can use their voice to access the feed’s x-ray capabilities and team and player stats.

To promote the Thursday Night Football debut further, featured a full-page takeover and countdown a day before the game, even sending a push notification to Prime members in the U.S. from the Amazon app.

“There are people who don’t have Prime and will be attracted to Prime because of Lord of the Rings or Thursday Night Football, but then there are some people who have Prime but don’t engage with Prime Video, so we think there’s an opportunity to have Prime members engage with Prime Video,” Marie Donoghue, Amazon’s vp of global video, previously told Adweek.