Amazon Memo Says ‘Thursday Night Football' Drew Record Number of Prime Signups for a 3-Hour Period

Scott Winters | Icon Sportswire | Getty Images
  • Amazon's debut broadcast of "Thursday Night Football" helped hook a record number of new Prime signups for a three-hour period, an executive wrote in a memo to employees.
  • The company is paying about $1 billion a year for exclusive Thursday night rights from the NFL.
  • Nielsen had yet to release viewership numbers for the game as of Tuesday morning.

Amazon's first broadcast of "Thursday Night Football" attracted a record number of new Prime signups over a three-hour period, more than during similar periods on Prime Day or other big shopping days such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday, an executive said in a memo viewed by CNBC.

The matchup between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Los Angeles Chargers last week was the first of 15 games Amazon will broadcast as part of a deal with the National Football League. Amazon is spending about $1 billion per year to exclusively stream Thursday Night Football through 2033, CNBC previously reported.

"By every measure, Thursday Night Football on Prime Video was a resounding success," Jay Marine, global head of Amazon's sports division, wrote late Monday in the memo to staff.

Nielsen has yet to release official viewership numbers for the game. Marine said Amazon's measurement "shows that the audience numbers exceeded all of our expectations for viewership."

Amazon is betting heavily on sports broadcasting with the hope that it will boost its Prime membership. The Prime subscription program, which charges $139 per year for a host of perks including free shipping, now has some 200 million subscribers worldwide. Amazon has said there are 80 million active Prime Video households in the U.S.

It's beefed up its Prime Video content in other ways to hook viewers and new subscribers. The company recently debuted its long-awaited series "The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power," which is derived from the appendices of J.R.R. Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings" books. Amazon said the first episode of the series, which set a record for being the most expensive show ever made, attracted more than 25 million viewers globally in its first day.

WATCH: The NFL's big Amazon debut and first week ratings gains

Correction: This story was updated to reflect that Amazon's deal with the NFL runs through 2033.

Copyright CNBC
Contact Us