Twitter’s first digital stream of a “TNF” game pulled in 243,000 viewers per average minute viewing. The number for more traditional TV channels, CBS and the NFL Network? That was 15.4 million viewers per average minute viewing.
What about total viewers? Twitter pulled in 2.1 million unique viewers. Traditional TV networks, by way of comparison, reached 48.1 million viewers.
Business media headlines now know the score: Digital media numbers won’t reach traditional TV numbers.
Of course this wasn’t the case back in October when Yahoo, after a mostly exclusive NFL regular season game, posted a “15.2 million” number for unique viewers worldwide. The business press didn’t totally get it. Actually, Yahoo pulled in a TV-like estimate of 2.36 million viewers.
It wasn’t that this year’s streaming game on Twitter was an NFL version of small ball. The New York Jets-Buffalo Bills scored lots. Final score: 37-31 in the Jets favor.
Twitter says individual viewers averaged about 22 minutes of the game. When looking at all digital properties, each viewer average 25 minutes of viewing.
Still, things perhaps didn’t all go that well for traditional TV networks. The Jets-Bills game was down 28% on CBS from the first “Thursday Night Football” game of a year ago -- to a Nielsen 3.8 rating/14 share among 18-49 viewers.
Twitter landed worldwide streaming rights to 10 “TNF” games this season for a reported $15 million. For around 250,000 viewers per average minute viewing (including worldwide viewers) and a cost of $1.5 million per game, that means a $6 cost per viewer.
Is it worth it? It’s still early in the game.