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Amazon’s NFL audience beat Twitter’s — but is still much smaller than TV

An average of 372,000 people watched the Bears-Packers game on Amazon Thursday night.

Chicago Bears v Green Bay Packers 2017 Thursday night game Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images
Peter Kafka covers media and technology, and their intersection, at Vox. Many of his stories can be found in his Kafka on Media newsletter, and he also hosts the Recode Media podcast.

Time for the first report card from Amazon’s NFL streaming experiment: An average of 372,000 people watched the Green Bay Packers beat the Chicago Bears on Amazon’s sites and apps worldwide.

The two important comparisons for that number: 14.6 million people watched the game on conventional TV. And last year, 243,000 watched Twitter’s first livestream of a Thursday night NFL game.

So what does that tell us? For starters, it underscores the idea that most people who want to watch football are happy to watch it on conventional TV — in this case CBS and the NFL Network. Which we knew.

The Twitter comparison is a little more interesting: Last year, Twitter made its NFL livestream available worldwide, without requiring viewers to log in to Twitter. But Amazon was only streaming to its Prime subscribers, a group that’s estimated at about 85 million worldwide.

Possible mitigating factors to consider when you’re assessing this one:

  • Green Bay-Chicago was a better football matchup, interest-wise, than last year’s streaming debut between the New York Jets and the Buffalo Bills.
  • But last night’s game was a boring blowout, so it’s possible fewer people were inclined to tune in.
  • There was also a rare weather delay last night — because of nearby lightning — that stopped the game for 47 minutes. Doesn’t matter what screen or stream you’re watching a weather delay on — no one wants to watch that.
  • Trump’s ongoing call for boycotting the NFL.

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