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Commentary on Pac-12 developments on and off the field …

Rising: Amazon’s viewership numbers

The company that owns the world plunged into live sports this year with an exclusive contract to stream the NFL’s ‘Thursday Night Football’ package. (Previously, Amazon had simulcast the Fox broadcast of TNF.)

While it took a week for Nielsen to report audience numbers from Amazon’s first stream of the regular season (Chargers at Chiefs), the numbers are impressive.

Amazon averaged 13 million viewers, which exceeds the 12.5 million it had reportedly promised advertisers and considerably higher than expectations within the sports media ecosystem.

“I was thinking this (would) be closer to 10 million (many thought less). Big win for Amazon,” Austin Karp, the managing editor/digital for the Sports Business Journal, wrote on Twitter.

Andrew Marchand, the New York Post’s sports media columnist, noted: “That is a very strong start for the NFL on streaming,”

The viewership numbers undoubtedly will resonate favorably across the Pac-12, which is in the middle of negotiating a media rights contract and, according to sources, is seriously considering a deal with Amazon for some portion of its inventory.

ESPN appears interested in continuing its relationship with the conference but won’t pay a dime more than is necessary.

So the Pac-12 desperately needs competition for its rights.

Amazon bid on the Big Ten’s inventory this summer but was rejected.

The Big Ten was worried about placing football on a digital-only platform and instead opted for traditional linear broadcasters (Fox, NBC and CBS).

Unlike the NFL, the Pac-12 doesn’t qualify as appointment viewing. (Nor does the vast majority of college football on TV.)

But the case for pursuing a media rights deal with Amazon is based, in part, on the timing:

‘Thursday Night Football’ would allow Amazon to gain acceptance among mainstream sports fans for two years before the Pac-12’s contract kicks in.

As a starting point, the …read more

Source:: East Bay – Entertainment


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