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Amazon provides “make goods” to advertisers for viewership shortfall

NFL: OCT 06 Colts at Broncos

DENVER, CO - OCTOBER 06: The Amazon Prime Video Thursday Night Football Logo on display prior to NFL game between the Indianapolis Colts and the Denver Broncos on October 06, 2022 at Empower Field at Mile High in Denver CO. (Photo by Jeffrey Brown/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

In the TV business, the term “make good” is a bad thing.

Networks often must “make good” with an advertiser when a show for which ads were purchased underdelivers. And the “make good” typically consists of the network providing free advertising elsewhere.

Via Michael McCarthy of, Amazon has issued “make goods” for advertisers who purchased time during Thursday Night Football broadcasts.

Amazon had told advertisers before the 2022 season began that it expected to average 12.5 million viewers per game for the TNF package. Amazon claims it had 11.3 million viewers. Nielsen, hired by Amazon to legitimize and normalize the figures, calculated 9.6 million average viewers per game.

Amazon’s prediction always seemed overly optimistic, as if Amazon were trying to speak the projection into existence. Or to make people think they’d be missing out if they didn’t buy Amazon Prime.

In 2021, all Thursday night broadcasts (including multiple weeks of NFL Network-only coverage) averaged 13.4 million viewers. The full alternative package previously owned by Fox (which included a Christmas game on Saturday) averaged 16.2 million viewers.

McCarthy’s item omits perhaps the most relevant comparison: Thursday night games from 2021 that were televised by Fox, NFL Network, and Amazon. That’s the specific package the NFL surrendered in shifting to streaming, while also grabbing a bigger bag of cash.

Make no mistake about it. This was the NFL’s latest, and most significant, shift toward what once was referred to derisively as “pay TV.” And the league was paid handsomely for it.

Although the ‘80s entailed a pivot to cable networks, everyone had cable in order to have access to a wide variety of channels. The world of streaming consists of various options, at various prices. Although many viewers (especially younger ones) have cut the proverbial cord, the effort to alleviate FOMO often elicits a different four-letter “F” word when examining the monthly investment in the various packages offered by the various streaming companies.

In an unrelated note, PFT Live begins at 7:00 a.m. ET on Peacock.