Amazon is bringing back Hannah Storm and Andrea Kremer to commentate its Thursday Night Football streams on Prime Video next season.
The veteran broadcasting duo became the first all-female team to call an entire NFL game this season as part of Amazon’s deal to stream 11 Thursday Night Football games. Now they’ll return for another slate of games that kick off later this year.
“Hannah and Andrea raised the bar last year as they became the first all-woman team to call NFL games,” Marie Donoghue, vice president of global sports video at Amazon, said in a statement. “Customer feedback has been great and we could not be more excited for Hannah and Andrea to once again bring their extensive knowledge to Thursday Night Football on Prime Video.”
Powered by Amazon Web Services, Amazon streamed the games to more than 100 million Prime members across 200 countries and territories, as well as on Twitch, the streaming platform it acquired for nearly $1 billion in 2014. Fans were able to toggle between multiple audio options in addition to commentary from Kremer and Storm, including a feed from the Fox TV broadcast with Joe Buck and Troy Aikman and two others in Spanish and U.K. English.
“The first year of TNF was amazing, chock full of learning experiences. I harken back to head coaches I’ve spoken to over the years and they routinely say, of their first year, that they didn’t even know what they didn’t know until after the season was done,” Kremer said in a statement. “That’s how I feel; it’s been such a whirlwind. The fact that Amazon so quickly decided to have us back next season is tremendous validation of our hard work and different approach to telling the story of, and analyzing, the games.”
This was Amazon’s second consecutive year streaming Thursday Night Football games in partnership with the NFL. Amazon took the reigns after Twitter’s one-year shot at the effort in 2016 and its current two-year deal, worth a reported $130 million, expires after the 2019 season.
Amazon shared new streaming stats on Thursday. The company said its total viewership (24.4 million) on Prime Video and Twitch was up 33 percent from the 2017 season.
The average number of people who watched during any 30-second portion of the streams on Prime Video was more than 500,000 — up 61 percent from last year. Prime members watched more than 1 billion minutes of live game content on Prime Video and Twitch this season.
Amazon’s streaming numbers still pale in comparison to TV viewership. For example, the Saints-Cowboys game in November set a new record with 2.5 million viewers who initiated a stream on Prime Video or Twitch. The Nielsen-measured audience for TV viewers watching the game via CBS/NBC/NFL Network was 21.4 million.
Still — the increased year-over-year viewership is notable and it likely means Amazon can charge more next season for in-game advertising, fueling the company’s growing ad business.
Amazon also said the highest viewership, based on unique Prime members, came from Prime subscribers in California, followed by Washington, Texas, New York, and Florida. Internationally, Mexico had the most viewers, followed by Canada, Brazil, South Korea, Germany, and Puerto Rico.
The NFL streaming deal is part of Amazon’s growing video arm that includes the company’s Prime video library; its Amazon Studios production unit; and other sports-related live streaming deals. Amazon reportedly spent $5 billion last year on video content as it competes with Netflix, Hulu, and others in the streaming industry.
It’s also part of Amazon’s continued push into the sports world. The company has several other live streaming deals with top leagues around the world; produces the All or Nothing sports documentaries; and keeps adding live sports programming to its Prime Video Channels platform. Amazon is also bidding for Disney’s 22 regional sports networks. It hired Donoghue, a longtime ESPN executive, this past summer.