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Nielsen partners with Amazon to monitor 'Thursday Night Football' streams

Nielsen will track viewership of Amazon's Thursday Night Football streams, the first time the company will include streaming service ratings in its national report.

Video transcript

DAVID BRIGGS: Amazon has struck a deal with Nielsen Holdings to measure the ratings of "Thursday Night Football" games shown on the company's Prime Video streaming platform. This will be the first time Nielsen will include streaming service ratings on its national television viewing report. Their data remains crucial in determining the value of commercial ad time during broadcasts.

Amazon has exclusive rights to the NFL's Thursday night games this coming season. And advertisers are expecting a lot of eyeballs. The three-year deal with Nielsen will start September 15 when the Chargers take on the Chiefs. And this is going to be a key moment for Nielsen because networks, as you know, have long criticized this model--


DAVID BRIGGS: --as not really painting a clear picture of the consumer. But I think it's different with a streamer in terms of the glimpse they'll get at those people that are watching.

SEANA SMITH: Yeah. I mean, I think it makes sense, right. Amazon wants to attract those top ad dollars. I think a lot of the advertisers want to see a clearer picture on the numbers on their viewership. So I think it's a win for Amazon. I also think it's a win for Nielsen because, like you were saying, there has been a lot of critics here just in terms of how accurate maybe Nielsen's numbers have been most recently.

Now, Nielsen is going to be measuring the viewership on TV sets. It'll also be closely monitoring what they're seeing on mobile devices, on laptops, on tablets, which we know is so critical when it comes to streaming. So it makes a lot of sense. I think that that was probably a big pushback from some of these advertisers just in terms of they haven't seen the numbers yet. Obviously, this is the first time that Amazon has exclusive rights to "Thursday Night Football," so we'll learn a lot in just the first couple of weeks.

DAVID BRIGGS: In particular, as you mentioned, the look at the mobile consumer. There's only 42,000 Nielsen households. How they're going to gauge the 80 million Amazon Prime subscribers has always remained a key question here.

But again, I think they'll get a better glimpse at just about how this works. They paid north of $1 billion a year for "Thursday Night Football." The networks had long decided they can't make money on it. Will Amazon be able to? That's another key [? question as we look at it. ?]

SEANA SMITH: Yeah. And they're throwing top dollars at it, that billion dollars, like you said. And then, also, they're attracting top talent to field these--

DAVID BRIGGS: Al Michaels.

SEANA SMITH: --games. Al Michaels--


SEANA SMITH: --is one of the big names there going. So there's a lot--


SEANA SMITH: --riding on it. Yeah.