NFL Ratings Are Down Thanks To Amazon Prime And Thursday Night Football

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The NFL still dominates as America’s favorite sport, but it could do better.

Halfway through the season, a look at this year’s NFL ratings show that there is a decline from last season. Thursday Night Football’s Amazon Prime Video games are to blame.

Overall, NFL ratings are down from an average of 16.5 million viewers to 15.7 million.

The NFL mainstays Sunday Night Football and Monday Night Football are pretty much in line from last season without any significant change.

The majority of the ratings dip comes on Thursdays.

Amazon is averaging 10.3 million viewers on their exclusive TNF broadcasts, which is down 16% from last year. The 2021 Thursday games were available on the NFL Network, as well as some simulcasted on FOX.

Amazon Prime’s NFL Thursday Night Football ratings are down from last year. (Getty Images)


Though the NFL is still doing fine and there’s no reason to sound the alarm just yet, if the pattern continues throughout the rest of the season and into next season, you can be sure that some executives will start feeling the heat.

Amazon paid about $1 billion per season for the rights to broadcast TNF on its streaming services for the next 11 years.

I’ve argued plenty of times here on OutKick that there are too many damn streaming services. Many times sports fans are either screwed out of watching certain games that they want to because they don’t own the particular streaming service. Out of the “additional” streaming services, Amazon will most likely turn things around because the company has become such an integral part of American’s lives.

But other streaming services like Peacock or Apple TV+ may take longer for consumers to come around.

NFL ratings are down from last year. (Photo by Shelley Lipton/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)


Thursday Night Football also saw its share of absolutely AWFUL games.

It has become a running joke from fans across the country as to how low-scoring the TNF games will be. Some argue it’s a combination of teams being exhausted from the short turnaround as well as just bad matchups. Whatever the cause it, the games have been damn near painful to watch.

When Thursday Night Football first debuted, football fans loved it. Who wouldn’t want as much football as possible? But now that we are seeing a trend of low scoring and boring games, maybe there is some room to pause. Or, just blame it on Amazon Prime.

Written by Mike Gunzelman

Mike “Gunz” Gunzelman has been involved in the sports and media industry for over a decade. He’s also a risk taker - the first time he ever had sushi was from a Duane Reade in Penn Station in NYC.


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  1. Old goat here, so maybe it’s just me. I like to record events so I can pause occasionally and come back. It seems when the “stream” ends if you pause for an extended period of time when you come back there is no option to resume. The screen says something like event ended….the only option is to restart and FF to where I left off. ??

  2. Very few fans, even diehards, are going to go out of the way to purchase Prime, from the evil Bezos, to watch a single game every week. Even less with the most insufferable man in sports (Herbstreit) on it. Stupid move by the NFL from the start.

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