Couple streaming video

Amazon Prime Video penetration is already at 47% of broadband households, according to research from Parks Associates. With a new landmark NFL streaming rights deal, that penetration is expected to push past 50%.

Parks Associates estimates that 77.3 million U.S. households are Amazon Prime members and that roughly 71% watch Prime Video, giving Amazon Prime video penetration of nearly 55 million households in Q1 2021. Amazon is paying about $1 billion a year to stream the Thursday night NFL game package, which adds premium content to the service.

“In its first all-streaming package, the NFL inked a ten-year agreement with Amazon Prime Video for the streaming rights to fifteen Thursday Night Football games and one pre-season game per year in the US, beginning in 2022,” said Steve Nason, Research Director, Parks Associates in a prepared statement. “By offering live games, streaming services give the significant market of NFL fans a reason to subscribe.”

Sports viewing lost a bit of its luster during the pandemic, but it is expected to rebound. And while NFL ratings were also down, NFL games are still arguably the most valuable content on TV.

According to Parks, more than two-thirds of online pay-TV subscribers and 43% of traditional pay-TV subscribers who cancelled their pay-TV service during COVID-19 were likely to re-subscribe following the return of live sports.

A recent Innovative Systems sponsored study of rural subscribers found that about 24% of rural subscribers’ television viewing time is sports related.

OTT service penetration chart
Source: Parks Associates

Amazon Prime also recently bolstered its broader content portfolio through its deal to acquire MGM Studios. That deal will add 17K TV shows and 4K movies in its content library, along with a production house to create more original content.

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