Streaming platform Amazon Prime’s coverage of the National Football League’s (NFL) ‘Thursday Night Football’ games increased its viewership by 24% in 2023.
During its second season holding rights to the games, Amazon Prime said it averaged 11.86 million viewers compared to last year’s 9.58 million. However, the figure is still less than two years ago when national network Fox and NFL Network held the rights to the games, which saw an average 12.8 million viewers tune in.
Amazon began its exclusive deal to show 15 TNF games per season a year earlier than planned in 2022 after initially securing the exclusive rights for 10 years beginning with the 2023 season. Before that, Amazon shared the rights to the games with Fox and the league’s NFL Network between 2018 and 2021.
Last week’s TNF season finale game between the New York Jets and the Cleveland Browns averaged 10.29 million, up 5% in ratings and 6% in viewership from last year’s season-ending game between the Dallas Cowboys and Tennessee Titans, which pulled in 9.75 million.
Overall, viewership increased for 14 of the 15 TNF games Amazon aired this season, with the outlier being a matchup between the Oakland Raiders and Los Angeles Chargers. Twelve TNF games this season averaged more than 10 million viewers – double that of last year’s total of six.
In comparison, five games surpassed last year’s highest viewership of 13.03 million for Amazon’s inaugural game between the Chargers and Kansas City Chiefs.
Meanwhile, major US sports broadcaster ESPN attracted 25.7 million viewers for its Monday Night Football (MNF) game between the Detroit Lions and Dallas Cowboys to cap off the season.
The game, which was aired across Disney’s ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, and ESPN Deportes channels, became the third-largest audience for an MNF game since 1997, behind two other games this season – Week 11’s game between Philadelphia Eagles and Chiefs and the Christmas Day matchup between the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers.
Over the season, ESPN's broadcast of 20 MNF games averaged 17.1 million viewers, up 33% year-over-year, making it the most-watched season since ESPN secured rights to the package in 2006.