In its upcoming debut season streaming NFL games, Amazon is expected to charge $2.8 million for advertising packages that include 30-second spots, according to a report by Reuters.
Benchmarking ad rates is a more complex task on the Amazon platform than on network air. While CBS and NBC typically sell 30-second spots for between $550,000 and $600,000, an Amazon rep told Reuters, “We are offering a range of options at various price points, depending on advertiser objectives.” Amazon can sell 10 30-second spots in each game and is offering ad buyers additional inventory on Amazon.com as part of the packages.
Delivering America’s No. 1 televised sport is the latest thrust by Amazon as it does battle with Netflix, which as yet has not offered live sports. The company's ad strategy seems to be a bit less aggressive than Twitter’s, which reportedly charged media buyers $2 million to $8 million for packages including highlights and in-game spots.
Amazon paid $50 million for rights to stream 10 Thursday night games to its Prime members. The games will air simultaneously on broadcast networks, five each on NBC and CBS. The deal succeeds last season’s experiment with Twitter, which paid $10 million for Thursday night games.
The shift of games, a broadcast mainstay, to a digital streaming environment is being closely watched by Madison Avenue and a traditional TV ecosystem that is looking over its shoulder.
While NFL football has been a bulwark of linear TV in recent years, prime-time ratings slipped noticeably in 2016 due to several factors, among them a perceived overabundance of games. The league now plays three prime-time contests a week. Sunday afternoon games, especially Fox’s late-afternoon NFC games, actually saw their ratings inch up last season, indicating a still-healthy appetite for the sport.
The NFL views Amazon as an ideal partner given its ubiquity in the lives of American consumers. Speaking at a conference Thursday, league COO Tod Leiweke said the retail behemoth's "customer obsession" suited the NFL's mission to super-serve its fans.
“It’s been fun for us to talk to the Amazon guys,” Leiweke said. “They are just amazing at what they do and how they do it, and you talk about breaking trail and changing the world and really thinking about the world in such abstract and different ways, but they are focused as we think we are on the end user.”