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Steelers-Browns Thursday Night Football Draws Big Numbers for Amazon

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The Steelers-Browns Thursday Night Football broadcast averaged between 11 and 14 million viewers, according to a report by Front Office Sports based on Amazon and Nielsen data.

Amazon’s first-party estimate was 13.6 million viewers, while Nielsen research said that the game averaged 11.03 million viewers. Either way, the tech giant made a big splash with its first venture into NFL football. The Steelers-Browns episode came on the hells of 15.3 million watching the TNF opener in Week 2.

The broadcast was the highest-rated of the day on Thursday night, beating NBC’s Law & Order: SVU, which had 5.5 million viewers. The broadcasts are significantly out-pacing last year’s offerings on NFL Network, though some of those games were also simulcast by FOX.

In Pittsburgh, the Amazon feed was broadcast over the air by WPXI, which preempted Law & Order to broadcast the Steelers and Browns, with 549,000 viewers tuning in locally to watch in addition to those viewing on Amazon’s platform. Another 631,000 viewed the local broadcast in Cleveland, according to Nielsen.

Amazon’s deal with the NFL is worth a $1 billion annually and runs for the next 10 seasons. Veteran play-by-play broadcaster Al Michaels came over to Amazon from NBC as part of the arrangement. He has been joined by Kirk Herbstreit and Kaylee Hartung on the broadcasts.

The Steelers will next be on national television in Week 7, when they visit the Miami Dolphins on Oct. 23 for Sunday Night Football. They host the Cincinnati Bengals on SNF on Nov. 20, visit the Indianapolis Colts for Monday Night Football on Nov. 28 and play the Las Vegas Raiders on NFL Network on Saturday, Dec. 24.

This Sunday’s Steelers game will be broadcast at 1 p.m. on CBS. Greg Gumbel, former NFL safety Adam Archuleta and Pittsburgh native A.J. Woods will be on the call for that broadcast.

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