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The Margin: ‘Thursday Night Football’ debut led to record number of Amazon Prime sign-ups, internal memo indicates

Amazon’s 2022 debut broadcast of “Thursday Night Football” resulted in a record number of sign-ups for the company’s Prime subscription service.

The game attracted more new subscribers than any three-hour period in Amazon’s history, an internal company memo reportedly viewed by CNBC was said to have stated — with three hours the rough average duration of a televised NFL game.

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“By every measure, Thursday Night Football on Prime Video was a resounding success,” Jay Marine, global head of Amazon’s
AMZN,
-1.04%

sports division, wrote in the memo.

The Week 2 matchup between NFL powers the Kansas City Chiefs and the Los Angeles Chargers on Prime Video resulted in 15.3 million total viewers across all platforms and streams.

Amazon also likely converted some of the “Thursday Night Football” viewership into interest in the e-commerce giant’s “Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power,” also debuting in September. Amazon ran banner ads on its home screen the night of the game promoting the long-awaited show.

Amazon paid roughly $1 billion to exclusively broadcast the NFL’s Thursday-night package in 2021 and will do so for 11 seasons under terms of the deal.

The Amazon Prime subscription service costs $139 per year, and customers get free shipping on millions of products and access to Prime Video (which includes “Thursday Night Football”). Their are more than 200 million Prime subscribers worldwide.

See: FTC says Bezos, Jassy must testify in investigation into Amazon Prime

Amazon and other nontraditional broadcast operators like Apple
AAPL,
-0.64%

and Google
GOOG,
+0.56%

GOOGL,
+0.87%

have long been rumored to be interested in buying more rights to live sports.

The NFL Sunday Ticket package is “moving to a streaming service,” the league’s commissioner, Roger Goodell, said in July. Amazon, Apple, Google and ESPN+
DIS,
-2.23%

are expected bids on the product, according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk.

Read on: Disney CEO discusses Hulu within Disney+ and ESPN’s sports-gambling plans

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