Peacock’s NFL Playoff Game Sets Streaming Record

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Turns out plenty of people were able to figure out where to find Peacock in time for Saturday night’s NFL playoff game.

The Kansas City Chiefs’ 26-7 win over the Miami Dolphins in the wild card round averaged 23 million viewers on Peacock, local NBC affiliates in the teams’ home markets and on the NFL+ mobile app, according to custom fast national data from Nielsen. Per NBC Sports, the game is the most streamed live event in U.S. history and accounted for 30 percent of Internet traffic while it streamed.

The streaming-exclusive game (plus local markets) actually built on NBC’s over-the-air telecast of a wild card game in the same primetime window last year — despite a lot of grumbling beforehand that viewers wouldn’t be able to access the game on Peacock, which has about 30 million paid subscribers. Last year’s game, between the Jacksonville Jaguars and Los Angeles Chargers, averaged 20.61 million viewers for the network broadcast and 21.8 million across all platforms.

A combination of Nielsen and first-party data from NBC puts the game’s audience at 26.3 million people across platforms (though 23 million will go in the books as the official number). The combined Nielsen and first-party measurement is about 14 percent higher than the Nielsen-only figure, similar to the 12 percent lift Amazon reported from combined data for Thursday Night Football this season.

“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,” said Brian Roberts, chairman and CEO of NBC parent Comcast. “It’s a very proud moment.”

Added NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, “We couldn’t be prouder of our partnership with Peacock and are thrilled with the results of the first-ever exclusively live streamed NFL playoff game. To best serve our fans, we need to ensure games are available to them as their viewing habits change and this includes digital distribution as we continue to help shape the future of the sports and entertainment industry.”

The previous high for a streaming exclusive NFL game (plus over-the-air broadcasts in home markets) came Nov. 30, when 15.26 million viewers watched a Thursday Night Football matchup between the Seattle Seahawks and Dallas Cowboys.

Earlier in the day, NBC Sports drew 29 million viewers across NBC, Peacock, Telemundo and other platforms for the other NFL wild card contest, Houston’s 45-14 rout of Cleveland. Peacock accounted for 3.1 million of those viewers, its second largest simulcast audience of an NFL game ever, behind only the 2022 Super Bowl.

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