In the seven weeks since Amazon Prime Video began hosting the NFL's Thursday Night Football games, there has been a discrepancy in viewership figures, and not just by a few thousand. Amazon claims millions more have tuned in than insights firm Nielsen has reported. So who is actually right?
Amazon says it is averaging 12.1 million views while Nielsen reported 10.3 million. The NFL, which delined to comment for this report, last year said an average of 16.4 million viewers across all platforms for Thursday Night Football during the 2021-2022 season. That included games on NFL Network, NFL digital, FOX Networks, Amazon Prime Video, Twitch, and Yahoo Sports. It was the highest rated TNF viewing average since 2015.
Perhaps it's an issue of traditional counts versus new technology. Nielsen's streaming platform ratings are based on "people-powered panels and proprietary metering technology to measure what content is streamed." The formula is essentially this: data plus survey feedback equals an estimated count of streamership. 
Amazon says it's using hard numbers from Prime to back up its claim, as the company can see just how many households were streaming games on a particular day. It should also be noted that Amazon incorporates audiences that watch TNF games on local television stations — about 9 percent — into its final tally; Amazon gets those figures from Nielsen's estimates.
"You have to remember that this is new — new for Nielsen and it's the first time there's been actual data for an event like this," Jay Marine, vice president of Amazon Prime Video and head of its sports department, told the Associated Press.
Nielsen remains the standard when it comes to assessing ad dollars but Amazon's release of its TNF figures is a new data point.
"It's going to take a little time," Connie Kim, spokeswoman for Nielsen, told AP. "As it evolves it should be one number. But we're not quite there yet."