NBC’s gamble paid off in huge ways – and expect more streaming-only playoff games in the future.
Despite some reservations from fans, the Chiefs’ 26-7 wild-card win Saturday over the Dolphins that streamed exclusively on NBC’s Peacock — aside from local markets – set the record for the most-streamed live event in United States history, as well as “driving the internet to its largest U.S. usage ever on a single day and the largest internet event ever,” according to a press release from NBC parent Comcast.
These numbers are based off of fast national live and same-day data from Nielsen, with official numbers to be released Friday.
“From NBC Sports and Peacock to the Comcast team, our entire company worked seamlessly to plan for this game and executed flawlessly to deliver a streaming experience with the NFL on a scale that’s never been done before,” Comcast Chairman & CEO Brian L. Roberts said in a press release. “It’s a very proud moment.”
Saturday’s matchup between the AFC’s No. 3 and No. 6 seeds reached 27.6 million viewers and peaked at 24.6 million viewers in the second quarter during the 9:15-9:30 p.m. ET window, according to data from Nielsen quoted in the press release.
Its average audience of 23 million viewers – including Peacock, local stations in Miami and Kansas City and NFL+ – set the U.S. record for streaming, and was up six percent from last year’s primetime AFC wild-card game between the Chargers and Jaguars, per the release.
The playoff matchup also provided Peacock its “largest single day ever in audience usage, engagement and time spent,” according to Comcast.
“We couldn’t be prouder of our partnership with Peacock and are thrilled with the record-breaking numbers from the first-ever exclusively live streamed NFL playoff game,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in the press release. “For several years now, we have been consistently expanding the digital distribution of our games and as these results show, the NFL is not only serving our fans who consume our content in a multitude of ways but helping to shape the future of the entire sports and entertainment industry.”
With this type of success, expect to see more of these types of games in the future.
Some fans expressed frustration with having to pay for a streaming service, but it clearly did not hinder the NFL and NBC from making good on their $110 million venture.
It certainly didn’t hurt to have Patrick Mahomes and the defending Super Bowl champions playing in the game, Taylor Swift taking in attendance and the icy conditions.
The Chiefs’ offense rolled through Miami’s defense to advance to the divisional round, where they will either visit the Bills or host the Texans.