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Comcast and its NBCUniversal division already declared that the Nov. 13 exclusive presentation of the Chiefs-vs.-Dolphins NFL Wild Card game on Peacock was not only the “biggest live-streamed event in U.S. history” but also led to the largest internet usage day ever.
Perhaps concerned that a lot of the folks who signed up on promotion for the $5.99-a-month Peacock soon will — or already have — quit the service, Comcast has been cagey with the signup numbers.
But as we suspected it might when we put in an email to the research company late last week, Antenna hazarded a guess on Peacock signups, estimating that 2.8 million users ponied up their credit-card numbers to the subscription streamer over the NFL’s three-day wild card weekend period.
According to Antenna, Peacock’s three-day bender was the “single biggest subscriber acquisition moment” it ever measured.
The “it-ever-measured” semantics matter. As our colleague Jon Lafayette noted in an email subject-lined “How soon we forget,” Disney Plus claimed 10 million signups on its first day back in November 2019.
Updated: Antenna actually included a note at the bottom its blog post addressing this issue, which we missed Wednesday: "*While the launch of Disney+ in 2019 saw more than 2.5 million sign-ups in a single day, no other singular programming event has resulted in this many sign-ups to a service in a three-day period."
Both Comcast and the NFL received plenty of blowback from disgruntled pro football fans, when the TMT giant paid the league an additional $110 million to put the AFC Wild Card primetime game featuring the defending Super Bowl Champions only on Peacock, rather than simulcast it on Peacock and NBC broadcast.
Comcast is set to announce fourth-quarter and full-year earnings on Thursday. But with Wild Card weekend occurring after the Q4 accounting period -- and post-game churn likely still a factor -- it's unclear as to whether the company will disclose any insight on Wild Card signups.
Speaking to the Penske showbiz trades earlier this week, however, NFL Media COO Hans Schroeder said the league is looking to try another streaming exclusive soon.
The game averaged 23 million viewers, Comcast said, citing Nielsen data, 6% growth over last season's comparable primetime Wild Card game, which was shown across NBC, Peacock, NBC Sports Digital and NFL Digital. Some of this year's audience was generated by local NBC stations in Kansas City and Miami markets, which did broadcast the Chiefs-Dolphins game live.
“It’s pretty remarkable that the first time we put a Wild Card game on Peacock it beats the same time slot, same broadcast partner the year before," Schroeder told The Hollywood Reporter. "That’s awesome, and I mean its a testament to how fans are changing and watching. It’s a testament to what Comcast did to really build awareness there.”