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NFL record set by Dolphins-Chiefs playoff game on Peacock

There was so much going on during Saturday night’s Wild-Card playoff game between the Miami Dolphins and the Kansas City Chiefs that it’s no wonder that the game set a record and became the most streamed game in NFL history with an average of 23 million viewers watching the contest over Peacock. The NFL was criticized for making the game the first playoff game exclusively available via a streaming platform although those in Kansas City and Miami were able to stream the game for free.

Elsewhere, only those with a Peacock subscription were allowed to view the game which also garnered attention because of the bitter cold that the game was played in. At kickoff, the temperature was -4 degrees Fahrenheit. With the wind, the temperature felt like -27 degrees Fahrenheit. Peacock offered 50% off new subscriptions on Friday; the premium subscription price is $5.99 per month and that includes access to live sports. Last week, Peacock reportedly had 30 million subscribers up 75% year-over-year.

The previous NFL record for streaming viewership during one game was the average of 15.26 million who watched the Dallas Cowboys beat the Seattle Seahawks in a regular season “Thursday Night Football” game last November on Prime Video. Peacock previously streamed a regular season game on December 23rd between the Los Angeles Chargers and Buffalo Bills. That game drew an audience of 7.3 million with a fourth-quarter average of 8.4 million viewers.

The viewership numbers, which should have put a smile on the faces of Peacock executives, weren’t the executives’ main focus. According to The Athletic, Peacock paid the NFL $110 million to stream this playoff game as a way to acquire new subscribers. Rick Cordella, the president of NBC Sports, who also is the head of sports at Peacock, says that he will judge the success of the stream based on production quality, and whether Peacock was able to avoid any distribution issues. He also will look at some data related to the stream.

Metrics that Cordella will look at include how many new subscribers joined Peacock to view the game, how many subscribers watched the game (remember, those in KC and Miami could stream the game for free), whether internal traffic goals were met, and how advertisers felt about the presentation.

As for the game, the Miami Dolphins, not a traditionally good cold-weather team for obvious reasons, were trounced by Kansas City 26-7.

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