Peacock has signed a deal with the National Football League to exclusively carry a playoff game in January, the first time a postseason contest will air mainly on a streaming service.
The Wall Street Journal reported Monday that the deal between the NFL and NBCUniversal’s streaming service is in the range of $110 million. The Peacock playoff game will air Jan. 13 during the first weekend of the NFL Playoffs, or Wild Card Weekend.
Peacock will also stream a regular-season game exclusively on Dec. 23 in prime time.
The deal comes months after YouTube secured the rights to NFL Sunday Ticket, the subscription service for out-of-town games, away from DirecTV, which aired the programming since its inception in 1994.
NFL Playoffs have been streamed before — Amazon simulcast a Wild Card game carried by CBS in 2021 — but the Peacock game will be the first time that a postseason game will be available mainly on a streaming platform and not on a national broadcast or cable network as well.
The home markets of the two teams playing the game will be able to watch it through a local television broadcast, most likely via an NBC affiliate.
“This will be transformative for sports on digital,” Hans Schroeder, executive vice president and chief operating officer of NFL Media, who told the Journal the decision is part of the NFL’s efforts to attract younger viewers, along with fans who have cut the cord to traditional pay-TV services.
The agreement is for the coming NFL season only. The league will have to search for a new streaming service again next year if it wants to go forward with the concept.
The agreement reflects the broader migration of live sports to streaming platforms, which goes beyond YouTube’s seven-year, $2 billion deal with the NFL. Among other platforms that have jumped on the opportunity to draw sports fans, Amazon Prime inked a $13.2 billion agreement to air NFL’s Thursday Night Football, and Apple TV+has a $595 million deal with the MLB for Friday Night Baseball, along with a $2.5 billion deal with Major League Soccer.
Peacock has also been moving toward more live sports. It airs English Premier League soccer, along with college football games. It also offers livestreaming access to the Olympics. Last week, NBCUniversal said the streamer will carry every single event of this summer’s Paris games, including all 329 medal events.