Peacock’s Exclusive NFL Playoff Broadcast Drives Significant Surge in Subscribers

The Chiefs got the win over the Dolphins, but its NBC that can claim victory.

According to subscription research firm Antenna, Peacock, the broadcaster’s streaming platform, signed up 2.8 million new subscribers during the three days leading up to the Jan. 13 game.

Antenna said this is the largest uptick in subscriptions surrounding a “single programming event” in its history.

Outside of the Kansas City and Miami viewing areas, Peacock held exclusive streaming rights.

Antenna’s data was collected through online purchase receipts, credit, debit and banking data, and “bill-scrape data.”

With mega-stars like Travis Kelce and Patrick Mahomes on the field, as well as Taylor Swift in the stands, the event reached 27.6 million total viewers across the entire broadcast 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.

The big numbers come after considerable outrage at the NFL for allowing the game to be put behind Peacock’s paywall — the first playoff game to get the designation after the service also was the only carrier of the regular season game on Dec. 23 between the Bills and Chargers.

Instead, the game resulted in a potential boon for NBC Universal: the new users represent a possible $168 million in annual subscriptions at the $5.99 a month entry tier — with a sizable chunk of change left over after the broadcaster paid $110 million for the exclusive rights.

The game was star-studded with defending SuperBowl Champions and fans like Taylor Swift.
The game coverage featured Taylor Swift in the stadium, cheering on her boyfriend, Chiefs star Travis Kelce.AP
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes.Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes led the snow-chilled win.AP

“It’s a lot more than just this football game. You see reasonable people complaining, and then they realize what it is beyond a one-time NFL streamer,” NBC Sports president Rick Cordella said. “It’s more or less, get them in the door with football, and expose them to the library, which we think is one of the best — if not the best — in streaming.”

Time will tell if Peacock will retain these new subscribers, or see them “churn” and unsubscribe from the platform.

Netflix currently has the most successful churn rate at 2 percent per month, while its competitors, including Peacock, Hulu, Paramount Plus and others have a weighted average of 5.3 percent.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said the league “couldn’t be prouder” of the partnership with Peacock and is “thrilled” with the numbers for the game.

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