Amazon Prime had to overcome some early technical difficulties with its first Thursday night NFL streaming game, but the numbers beat Twitter’s livestream debut in 2016.
Amazon Prime Video reached a total of 1.9 million combined viewers worldwide for the kickoff show and the Thursday night game pitting the Green Bay Packers against the Chicago Bears. The company said that viewers in 187 countries and territories watched the game on Amazon Prime.
Amazon said that 1.6 million worldwide viewers initiated a stream and that the average worldwide audience that watched the game for at least 30 seconds on Amazon Prime Video reached 372,000. Those viewers watched an average of 55 minutes.
That 372,000 figure puts Amazon well ahead of the 243,000 viewers Twitter averaged about one year ago. But, unsurprisingly, the streaming numbers were still well behind the traditional broadcast viewership.
The NFL said that the Chicago-Green Bay game was watched by an average of 14.6 million television viewers, up 3% from 14.2 million for the same match-up in 2016.
Despite paling in comparison to broadcast, Amazon still outdid Twitter while having to make it past some glitches. According to GeekWire, the first few minutes of Amazon’s livestream experienced buffering and audio issues. Although Twitter users called out the issues early on, the complaints seemed to subside shortly after the stream began.
Amazon earlier this year won the rights for the Thursday night games (plus one more on Christmas Day for 11 total) after reportedly spending $50 million to beat out bidders including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
But Amazon could easily recoup that amount and more if it is indeed charging a reported $2.8 million for ad packages including 30-second spots.
This article was updated to revise the number of countries and territories that tuned into Amazon's stream.