business news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe

Sportico is out with its annual list of the "Top 100 Most-Watched TV Broadcasts" of the previous year, reporting that - by far - National Football League games dominate the list with 82 of the top 100 programs.  There were just five college football games on the list, four political programs, three World Cup games, and two college basketball games.

The business/retail relevance, you may ask?

Simply this.

Every one of the top 100 broadcast TV programs last year was a unique, "live" event - if you wanted to have the non-replicable experience, you had to watch them when the were on.

Which, in so many ways, is what retailers need to do.

If, as a retailer, you don't have items, services and/or experiences that are unique to you, then you haven't really established a differential advantage.  Being five or 10 cents cheaper on Oreos or Tide or Corn Flakes will only take you so far … you have to have that  unique certain something that people can only get from you.

Look at the chart below.  Think about it in terms of your business.

It is an Eye-Opener.

Parenthetically … this is the reason that streaming services, looking for advantages and audiences, are turning to live events as a way to generate viewership.  It is why Amazon, Apple and, reportedly, even Netflix, are seeking to offer live sports on their services.

It doesn't always work right away, though - Business Insider  reports that Amazon, having spent $11 billion for an 11-year deal giving it the rights to Thursday Night Football games, now is "scrambling" to offer advertisers make-goods because audiences were 25 percent lower than projected.  

In part, this is because finding Thursday Night Football on Amazon required a significant change in viewing habits.  (Amazon may be ubiquitous, but not quite as ubiquitous - yet - as ESPN, CBS and Fox.). In addition, Business Insider points out that Amazon "faced a learning curve on the ad sales front."

But this is early days, and there's one nugget of hopeful news in the Business Insider story - that "TNF" viewership on Prime Video h"ad a median age of 47, according to Amazon — 7 years younger than the NFL average on linear TV."  It never is a bad thing when your audience gets younger, and now Amazon is faced with the challenge of bringing the total audience up to what the NFL and advertisers expect.