(Reuters) – Nearly 2 million people logged onto Amazon.com <AMZN.O> for the online retailer’s first livestream of Thursday Night Football, the U.S. National Football League said on Friday.
Some 1.9 million people tuned in to Amazon’s kickoff show and game between the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers, according to the NFL. That compares to 2.3 million for the first digitally streamed game last year on Twitter Inc <TWTR.N>, which had the online rights at the time.
But viewers watched the broadcast for longer on average on Amazon. Its average worldwide audience for at least 30 seconds was 372,000 people, compared with 243,000 on Twitter for the first game last year, the NFL said.
Streaming live sports is a new, integral part of Amazon’s strategy to encourage more people to sign up to its Prime shopping club and spend more on retail goods.
(Reporting by Jeffrey Dastin in San Francisco; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)