Most-Streamed Day Ever — Peacock’s Playoff Game — Pushes TV Viewing to 4-Year High in January: Nielsen

 2023 NFL wild card game between Kansas City Chiefs and Miami Dolphins.
2023 NFL wild card game between Kansas City Chiefs and Miami Dolphins.

Peacock’s exclusive national telecast of an NFL playoff game gave streaming its biggest day ever and powered overall TV viewing to a four-month high, according to Nielsen.

January TV usage rose 3.7%, compared to December. It was also up 1.4% from January 2023.

January had three of the 10 biggest days for TV usage since May 2021 and nine of the most streamed days ever.

The playoff game gave Peacock a 29% increase for the month, pushing its share to 1.6% of all TV usage.

Comcast NBCUniversal paid $110 million for the rights to air the Kansas City Chiefs-Miami Dolphins AFC wild card game on January 13. According to Nielsen, 23 million people watched. Comcast NBCU has not disclosed how many people signed up for Peacock before the game and how many kept their subscriptions after the game.

Broadcast viewing was up 7.1 in January and its share of TV usage rose to 24.2% from 23.5% in December.

Sports viewing on broadcast was up 36% and accounted for 28% of all broadcast viewing. The first new scripted content since the strike — NBC’s Chicago-set dramas — boosted drama viewing on broadcast by 20%.

Viewing on cable was up 2.7% in December, but its share dipped to 27.9% from 28.2% last month. ESPN’s coverage of the College Football Playoff game between Michigan and Alabama was the top cable program, followed by six other NFL and college football games.

Cable news viewing was up 8%.

Streaming viewing rose 4.1% to give it a 36% share, up from 35.9% last month.

Netflix’s Fool Me Once was the most-streamed show, marking the first time an original was the most streamed show since May 2023 with 6.5 billion minutes. Prime Video’s Reacher (Season 2) was the fourth-most-watched show on cable, with 4.3 billion minutes.

YouTube remained the streaming service with the largest share of television usage with an 8.6% share in January, up from 8.5%.

Netflix had a 7.9% share, up from 7.7%. Prime Video had a 2.8% share, down from 3.3% in December, when it had Thursday Night Football.

Hulu had 2.7%, up from 2.6%; Disney share was unchanged at 1.9%.

Peacock, with the playoff game, jumped to a 1.6% share from 1.3%; followed by Tubi with a 1.5% share, up from 1.4%; Max with a 1.3% share, up from 1.2%; Roku Channel with a 1.1% share, up from 1%; Paramount Plus unchanged, with a 0.9% share; and Pluto TV steady, with 0.7% of viewing.

Linear (live TV) streaming via multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs) and vMVPD (virtual multichannel video-programming distributors) apps represented 6.2% of total television usage in January. Linear streaming is included in the appropriate broadcast or cable category and is not included in the streaming category.