A while back, NBCUniversal announced that its Peacock streaming service would be the (close to) exclusive place where fans of NFL football could watch an AFC Wild Card playoff game on Jan. 13. As it turned out, the game, between the Miami Dolphins and the Kansas City Chiefs, became a huge hit.

According to an NBCUniversal press release, the wild card playoff game streamed on Peacock on Jan. 13 (and won by the Chiefs 26-7 in below-zero temperatures in Kansas City) became “the most-streamed live event in U.S. history”. NBCUniversal added that it was the largest Internet event ever, consuming 30 percent of Internet traffic during the game” and that it caused the largest one-day internet usage in US history.

NBCUniversal says that its numbers show the average viewership of the game was 23 million viewers on Peacock, combined with viewers on local Miami and Kansas City TV stations, and also on mobile devices via NFL+. Combining its own custom numbers with ones from Nielsen, the game was viewed on average by 26.3 million viewers, according to the company.

Even better, the viewer numbers were 6 percent higher compared to the same 2023 AFC Wild Card game, which was broadcast normally on NBC stations as well as Peacock.

NBCUniversal said that the Peacock streaming service had its biggest single day in “audience usage, engagement and time spent” on Jan 13. There were 16.3 million concurrent devices connecting to Peacock that day. The company did not state any numbers for new subscribers to the service.

These huge streaming viewer numbers for an NFL playoff game on Peacock will likely get premium streamers like ESPN+, Paramount+, Amazon Prime Video, and others to take notice. We could see even more major live sports events turn into streaming exclusives. Could we see a streaming service try to get exclusive rights to a future NFL Super Bowl game, which is normally the biggest broadcast TV event of the year in the US? We would not be surprised.


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