History was made during last weekend’s NFL Wild Card Weekend as Peacock announced that the AFC Wild Card game was the most-streamed live event in US history.
Saturday’s game, which saw the Kansas City Chiefs beat the Miami Dolphins 26-7, was the first NFL play-off fixture to be exclusively streamed in the US, as two-time MVP Patrick Mahomes threw for 262 yards to lead his team into the Divisional Round.
Peacock revealed that the AFC Wild Card game reached 27.6 million viewers in total, peaking an average of 24.6 million viewers in the second quarter, increasing 6% from last year’s same fixture, figures gathered from Nielsen.
The viewership averaged out to 23 million viewers across Peacock and NBC stations, making it the most streamed event in US history.
The AFC Wild Card game also broke the record for the largest US internet usage for a single day, consuming 30% of internet traffic during the game, according to Peacock, with the NBC streaming platform also breaking its record for the largest single day for activity with the Chiefs Dolphins game being watched on 16.3 million concurrent devices.
“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. It’s a very proud moment,” said Brian Roberts, Chairman and CEO of Comcast Corporation.
The NFL penned a deal with NBC worth a reported $110m to exclusively show the AFC Wild Card game last May.
The news of Peacock’s record-breaking night will almost certainly be good news for not just NBC and Comcast, but also the NFL as it has placed significant focus on branching out into the live sports streaming game.
Amazon is currently in its second year of an 11-year deal with the NFL for its coverage of Thursday Night Football which has so far been a success. Prime Video’s TNF viewership of regular season games has increased by 24%, averaging 11.86 million viewers.
The league also has a streaming deal in place with YouTube for the NFL Sunday Ticket offering, a $249 premium package that enables fans to watch out-of-market games on the Google-owned platform.
This is in part due to the NFL aiming to increase the viewership for its younger demographic, as well as taking advantage of the surge in popularity of streaming platforms.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, commented on Peacock’s numbers: “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.”