The NFL is taking another big step in streaming by putting one of its playoff games exclusively on a digital platform for the first time ever.
The league and NBCUniversal announced Monday that Saturday night games on wild-card weekend will take place in peacetime.
On January 13, the Peacock Exclusive game will begin at 8:15 or 8:30 PM ET. The game will be broadcast on NBC stations in the markets of the two teams. It will also be available on mobile devices through the NFL+ package. It will be preceded by a late afternoon playoff game on NBC and Peacock that begins at 4:30 p.m. ET.
Terms of the agreement were not disclosed, but The Wall Street Journal reported that it is a one-year deal with the league fetching approximately $110 million.
“Our first season with Amazon was [this past year] And I think with the digital platform, we are ready for live sports in a big way. “And the next step is to move into the post season,” said Hans Schroeder, NFL executive vice president and chief operating officer of NFL Media. In this case knowing that we are going to have a large audience and focused on getting the most reach possible on each platform.”
The league has forayed into streaming games for nearly a decade, but has gone all-in in the past few seasons. Amazon Prime Video became the exclusive home of “Thursday Night Football” last season, while ESPN has one international game per season on ESPN+ starting in 2021.
As part of the NFL’s 11-year contract with NBCUniversal that began this season, Peacock has an exclusive regular-season game. That would be on December 23rd when the buffalo bill face los angeles chargers in prime time. Cincinnati Bengals Vs pittsburgh steelers matchup on NBC before that.
“We spent a lot of time with the NFL and had productive meetings about the proper status of [Peacock] game,” NBC Sports president Pete Bevacqua said last week when the regular-season schedule was released. -season exclusive games.”
The Saturday night wild-card game has attracted more than 20 million viewers over the past two seasons. last season’s game between jacksonville jaguars and the Chargers averaged 20.6 million, while Buffalo and new England Average 26.4 million.
Whether Mayur can match or get close to those numbers remains to be seen. Last season’s 15-game Thursday night package on Prime Video averaged 9.58 million according to Nielsen and 11.3 million according to Amazon’s first-party measurement. The most watched game was the first between Kansas City and chargers. Nielsen averaged 13 million, while Amazon reported 15.3 million.
NBC would have three games during the first weekend of the post-season, the first time a network would have multiple games in a single playoff weekend.
NBC also has a prime-time Sunday game on January 14, while Fox and CBS will have earlier matches. ESPN has a Monday night game on January 15 to close out the opening weekend. This will be the third year the NFL has played wild-card games over three days.
Under the NFL’s contract, each of the four broadcast partners – NBC, CBS, Fox and ESPN/ABC – receives at least one wild-card game. One of the two remaining games rotates between NBC, CBS and Fox each year, while the other potentially bids each year. That means Amazon or ESPN+ could finally be in the running for future postseason games.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.