Despite a notable decline in its US TV ratings for the second straight year, the NFL scored a gain on the streaming video front this season, according to the latest data released by Amazon.
Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN), whose Prime Video service streamed the NFL's Thursday night line-up of games during the regular season, boasted that its package drew 17% higher game viewership than a similar package streamed by Twitter Inc. last season. Using the average-minute audience (AMA) metric as its barometer, Amazon said it attracted more than 310,000 viewers for at least 30 seconds of action per game, up from the approximately 250,000 viewers that Twitter reported last season.
Amazon said it attracted a total of 18.4 million viewers from 224 different countries and territories for the ten Thursday night games and special Christmas Day contest. Those viewers watched an average of 63 minutes per game. Amazon enjoyed its biggest NFL audience on December 7, when 2 million viewers watched the match-up between the Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints.
The comparisons with Twitter's overall viewership are tougher to make. Instead of reporting its total viewership for last season, Twitter said it attracted 2 million viewers for its first Thursday night game, 2.2 million viewers for the second game, and between 2.6 million and 3.1 million for the next eight games, boosting its average to about 2.7 million viewers per game.
But, no matter which social media platform ended up looking best on the field, the NFL clearly came out a winner. Amazon reportedly paid the league about $50 million for the streaming rights to the 11-game package this season, while Twitter paid a mere $10 million the season before. Do I hear Facebook for $100 million next season?
In a new report produced in tandem with SCTE/ISBE, Heavy Reading spells out what cable operators are doing with fiber now, what they plan to do with it in the future and which challenges are the biggest.
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