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Amazon expects 12.5 million viewers for Thursday Night Football

Lamar Jackson wants a new contract from the Ravens before the 2022 NFL season gets going in September, but negotiations may keep dragging as he continues to operate without an agent.

Amazon will legitimately get to double dip when it begins exclusively broadcasting Thursday Night Football next month. The viewers will be paying for Amazon Prime, and the advertisers will be paying for what could be prime commercial placement.

But there’s a real question as to the value that corporate partners will receive. How many people will actually be watching the games? reports that Amazon is telling potential sponsors that it expects to attract 12.5 million viewers on Thursday nights. That frankly seems optimistic, and it invites a question as to whether Amazon means 12.5 million average viewers (the standard metric) or 12.5 million total viewers at any point during the broadcast (a method that glosses over a much smaller average audience).

Either way, reports that some potential sponsors are “concerned” about the smaller audience. As a result, Amazon is touting “first-party data on consumers that could provide added value.”

Thirty-second commercials currently reportedly are generating roughly $500,000 for Amazon, less than the average of $635,439 that Fox earned in 2021.

In our view, Amazon provides two specific advantages that linear TV doesn’t. It can attract sponsors whose ads will be tailored to user information, from shopping habits to estimated discretionary income. A company like Ferrari would never waste money on a broadcast TV ad, since the niche of potential buyers is so small. With Amazon, a Ferrari commercial can be delivered only to those who would ever be in position to get one.

Also, the technology easily could be configured to offer to Prime customers items that they previously have purchased, from shaving cream to snacks to clothing to whatever.

Thus, even if the Thursday night audience will be smaller (and it will be), the advertising could be far more effective.