In a rare move, Amazon might have messed up. When Amazon purchased the rights to Thursday Night Football in the NFL, the world was split on the decision. Those who already have the service were on board, while those without it thought it was a dumb move. The verdict it is in after the season, and it’s not good news for the giant. Amazon gives refunds for low TNF ratings. And the reason is simple: Amazon couldn’t deliver. Amazon promised advertisers 11.3 million viewers/game, but they could only deliver 9.6 million per broadcast.
$1 Billion per Season
Amazon pays the NFL $1 billion per season for 15 games to air exclusively on the streaming service Prime Video. The only Thursday nights in the season where Amazon is not the home for NFL is opening night, Thanksgiving night, and week 18 when there is not a Thursday night game. It wasn’t total failure for Amazon. The company sent out a memo that they experienced the most sign ups of any day in the history of the company on the day of their first broadcast. Unfortunately they couldn’t capitalize on that success, and Amazon gives refunds for low TNF ratings.
Not the NFL’s Fault
I don’t see this problem going away any time soon. The NFL provided a beefed up schedule for Amazon this season. Their first broadcast was Chargers @ Chiefs. In the following 4 weeks the Steelers, Browns, Dolphins, Bengals, Colts, and Broncos we apart of the broadcasts. Even though the Colts Broncos game set the sport back 20 years, this was a matchup of Matt Ryan vs Russell Wilson. How could the NFL know those would be the two biggest disappointments in the league? In addition to those teams, Amazon got the Ravens @ Bucs- networks love Tom Brady, Titans @ Packers- the #1 AFC seed from last season vs Aaron Rodgers, and the Bills @ Patriots- a big time AFC East matchup. It really wasn’t a bad schedule. I don’t know if the NFL can give them a better sleight of games.