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Peacock’s NFL Wildcard Game Was the Biggest Signup Moment in Streaming-Measurement History

Everyone grumbled about the NFL exclusively streaming a Wildcard-round playoff game on NBCUniversal’s Peacock, but then a whole lot of the complainers signed up for the service anyway, according to new data.

With 2.8 million Peacock signups over a 72-hour period, the Miami Dolphins vs. Kansas City Chiefs game was the impetus for the biggest subscriber-acquisition moment ever observed by streaming-measurement company Antenna, which has been in business since 2019. The term “moment” is important here, as it refers to a three-day span. The largest-ever single day for streaming signups remains for Disney+ (2.5 million signups) on its launch day in 2019.

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The Peacock signups number includes first-time users testing the service out on a 7-day trial. It is too early still to know how many people churned out of (canceled) Peacock after the trial, or after one paid month.

When reached, a spokesperson for Peacock had no comment on the Antenna numbers.

NBC Sports has stated that the January 13 matchup was the biggest live-streamed event in U.S. history, and drove single-day internet usage in the U.S. to a new record.

The game averaged 23.0 million viewers, which is 6 percent better than last year’s comparable game. The Chiefs victory ultimately reached 27.6 million viewers, and its average audience peaked at nearly 24.6 million viewers from 9:15-9:30 p.m. ET, according to Nielsen custom fast-national data ordered by NBC Sports. Each of those numbers count viewership on Peacock, the NFL+ app, and on local TV in the Miami and Kansas City markets. (While the game was a Peacock exclusive, you still cannot black out local fans.)

Perhaps needless to say, it was Peacock’s biggest day in its history; with 16.3 million concurrent devices using the app, the game ended up consuming 30 percent of internet traffic. And oh yeah, it was the fourth-coldest NFL game ever — just ask Andy Reid’s mustache.

“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,” Brian L. Roberts, Chairman and CEO of Comcast Corporation, said in a January 14 press release touting the viewership.

“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,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell added. “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.”

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