Potential Boon For Amazon and 'NFL Thursday Night Football': Nielsen to Incorporate First-Party Data From Live-Streaming Companies

 NFL 'Thursday Night Football'
NFL 'Thursday Night Football'

Nielsen says it will start incorporating first-party audience performance data from streaming companies for live events, a notable boon for Amazon which itself reported ratings that were nearly 18% higher than Nielsen's for the streamer's NFL Thursday Night Football package last season.

As originally reported by Axios late last month, Nielsen's plan must still be run by the Media Ratings Council, which sets media ratings standards.

Also read: Streaming Off a Cliff: 'Thursday Night Football' Audience Dropped a Whopping 41% For the Season on Amazon

The change would only apply to live streaming and would not be confined to just Amazon.

Last season, Nielsen measured average audience ratings for 11 NFL Thursday-night games, which were exclusively available on Amazon Prime Video for the first time as part of a multiyear agreement that pays the league around $1 billion a year.

Nielsen's average audience rating came in at 9.7 million viewers, 18.6% less than the 11.5 million viewers rendered with Amazon's own calculations ... which were partially derived from Nielsen's own data.

Ad Age reported in February that concerns over Nielsen's live-sports measurement acumen triggered meetings with not just Amazon, but Disney and other companies, as well.

It was widely reported by outlets including Next TV that Amazon endured a stark 41% overall drop in Thursday Night Football ratings vs. the 2021 performance of the package on Fox broadcast.

Amazon executives, however, have been quietly pulling their hair out -- not only do they feel short-changed by Nielsen, but they also note that the comparable Fox 2021 figure was driven way up by a pivotal late-season game that was actually broadcast on a Saturday.