NFL Playoffs Live: A look at ‘The Peacock Bowl’

The NFL playoffs start on Saturday, Jan. 13, and the primetime match-up may have a lot of fireworks — and it’s not because of the match-up on the field.

The AFC Wild Card playoff game between the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs and the Miami Dolphins will be airing on Peacock, making it the first NFL playoff game to ever air exclusively on a streaming service.

It’s a massive bet for Peacock and parent company Comcast  (CMCSA) – Get Free Report, which also owns NBC. The company reportedly paid $110 million just to air this playoff game.

We’ll be updating this live blog all night.

Follow @colincsalao all night as he tracks the biggest streaming experiment ever #NFLPlayoffs
Live blog here: https://t.co/wezgmH5NAB pic.twitter.com/5rVmVRbwDc

— TheStreet (@TheStreet) January 13, 2024

If you have any thoughts on the NFL experience on Peacock — or if you experience any difficulties, let us know on X (formerly Twitter) by tweeting at @TheStreet or at me @colincsalao. Maybe you’ll see your tweet on this blog as the night goes on.

“The Peacock Bowl” is ending in a blowout. What now?

Updated 11:10 p.m. EST

The Chiefs are in a full control of this game in the fourth quarter as the depleted Dolphins have struggled to find offense against one of the best defenses in the NFL.

As the game is starting to wind down, the question is: What now for your Peacock membership?

There seem to be some people on X (formerly Twitter) who are suggesting that they will be cancelling their membership immediately after this game.

And put in the immediate cancelation.

— Big D (@darrenc777) January 14, 2024

Time to cancel Peacock, Go Chiefs!

— Scotty W. (@mufasaisalive) January 14, 2024

But there will likely be some who might stick around.

Personally, I’m going to take this month to catch up on “The Office” and maybe check if any of their exclusive shows are worth watching. So I guess this means I’m going to give Peacock a shot — which I guess is exactly what they were hoping for. 

Start of the second half: Did you sign up for Peacock for this game?

Updated 10:20 p.m. EST

The news about the number of subscribers that Peacock gained because of this game may not be released. But if it is, it’s probably not coming until tomorrow at the earliest.

So we decided to ask our Twitter followers what they decided to do.

At halftime, we put a poll on X (formerly Twitter) if fans subscribed to Peacock for this NFL game — or if they were already subscribed.

Of the 550 respondents, nearly two-thirds answered “No.” Meanwhile, just under 10% answered “Yes” while 26.8% answered that they were already subscribed to NBC’s streaming service.

What did you do? Answer our poll here:

Did you subscribe to Peacock for this NFL Wild Card game between the Chiefs and Dolphins?

— TheStreet (@TheStreet) January 14, 2024

Start of the second half: Few problems with Peacock so far — at least for me.

Updated 10:00 p.m. EST

The second half is about to start, and honestly, I haven’t had much of a problem with Peacock outside of needing to shell out $5.99 on top of my YouTube TV subscription. 

The broadcast has felt like a typical NBC show with Mike Tirico on the call, though he’s alongside Jason Garrett instead of his usual duo with Cris Collinsworth.

The advertisements during game breaks have been the same as typical NBC broadcast, with your mix of insurance and car commercials. They haven’t shoved Peacock down our throats like some may have thought.

My broadcast has buffered around twice, but only for a few seconds. Nothing that has really bothered me so far.

How has your experience been with Peacock? Has it been smooth like me or have you been experiencing some buffering? Tell us on X (formerly Twitter) by tweeting at @TheStreet or at me @colincsalao

What are people saying about Peacock right now?

Updated at 9:12 p.m. EST

Midway through the second quarter, and the Chiefs threatening to add points to their 10-7 lead of a game that looks like it’s being played inside a freezer.

But the story for fans staying warm in their homes (and outside of the Kansas City and Miami markets) is the game airing exclusively on Peacock.

Related: Patrick Mahomes’ net worth: The NFL star’s contract, investments, and more

So through a quarter and change, what are people on social media saying about Peacock?

The Ringer’s Ryen Russillo thanked the NFL owners for this moment, noting that it was historic. Of course, sarcastically.

I know the Peacock app deal was confusing but still think it’s cool we get to be a part of history. Thank you NFL owners!

— Russillo (@ryenarussillo) January 14, 2024

But this isn’t the first time that Peacock has aired some major sports exclusively, as some fans of the WWE and English Premier League have pointed out.

NFL fans: *freaking out about a game being on Peacock*

Premier League fans: pic.twitter.com/gsz7jkhqik

— Eric Italiano (@eric_ital) January 14, 2024

WWE fans already having Peacock to watch the Chiefs vs Dolphins game pic.twitter.com/N9lJe7Ocg1

— dior ⭒ (@onlydioria) January 14, 2024

But some of them have pointed out that what makes the streaming experience more difficult that the linear TV experience is the inability to channel surf during commercials.

I’ve been subscribed to Peacock for a while now because of the Premier League and WWE. The annoying thing for me at this point is I can’t change the channel when I feel like it with cable. I like to jump around during commercials. You’re kinda stuck with the app.

— Randy Wilkins (@pamsson) January 14, 2024

I guess that might be good news for the advertisers, though.

There are some people who aren’t as mad. Front Office Sports asked some fans on X (formerly Twitter) about their Peacock experience, and many of the replies have been accepting of the streamer.

It’s 2024 – same as watching any other game. No difference

— Chuck Dunlap 🏈 (@SEC_Chuck) January 14, 2024

Some of TheStreet’s readers have also let us know their thoughts — and most of you have not been happy. 

There are some who have chosen to bite the bullet and subscribe.

So we are watching it but very sad about the Greed factor in eliminating the end of a season for others.. So maybe every single game will be at the luxury of those who can afford to ‘watch’ it since most can’t afford the tickets. Everyone else. Tough!

— jean potts (@jeanpot69877351) January 14, 2024

But others are vehemently against giving NBC and the NFL their mo

I’m not giving them a🤬penny!!

— Guyton W (@TigernBham) January 14, 2024

Social Media is buzzing about the use of illegal streaming services

Updated at 8:30 p.m. EST

There is one way to watch this game for free — it’s just not legal.

Illegal streaming sites have been a staple in sports, not just domestically, but around the entire world. Back in August, the NFL, NBA, and UFC said they’ve collectively lost over $28 billion due to illegal streaming services.

But while these streams are illegal, there just isn’t a lot of regulation on them, which have made them an option for millions. So much so that many know some of the most popular sites — which explains why one of them is trending on X (formerly Twitter) right now.

Peacock: “You can’t watch Dolphins-Chiefs unless you download the app!”

Everybody on illegal streams: pic.twitter.com/WFx1yDfwxp

— Josiah Johnson (@KingJosiah54) January 14, 2024

“Streameast” is trending on the social media platform right now, with thousands posting about how these sites are probably having a field day considering the many who don’t want to pay the fee for Peacock.

streameast about to put up wilt numbers tonight 😭😭 pic.twitter.com/nJ2Y1bCNPt

— DripMasterFlex 🕷️ (@DripMasterFlex1) January 14, 2024

Pregame has felt like a regular NBC broadcast. That’s good.

Updated at 7:55 p.m. EST

The subscriber count that Peacock will gain from this will probably be the most important datapoint that NBC and the NFL will be looking at. But that number is going to come tonight — at least it probably won’t be made public tonight.

What we will be able to see is the performance of the broadcast. That’s going to be important to watch.

Why?

Because there have been some problems with live streaming sports and shows as broadcasters have began to make the transition.

YouTube TV has had a few massive flubs when streaming the NBA and the NFL over the last few months. Netflix, which has only streamed exhibition events in sports, had a disastrous live stream event for its popular reality show “Love Is Blind.”

Peacock shouldn’t have a problem with its actual production — NBC has been doing this for decades. But can Peacock handle the tens of millions of people using its streaming app all at once? That’s what we should be looking at.

So far, through the pregame show, it’s been smooth sailing. At least for me. 

Why are NBC and the NFL doing this?

Updated at 7:43 p.m. EST

The court of public opinion hasn’t been kind to the decision to stream this playoff game exclusively on Peacock.

Reaction to the NFL making people pay to watch a playoff game on Peacock pic.twitter.com/b7onm5Wo8D

— John Elway (@FakeJohnElway) January 13, 2024

Even notable sports personalities like Charles Barkley have expressed discomfort, with the TNT NBA analyst calling the NFL “greedy” for making this decision.

But why did the NFL do this?

Well — we all know it’s about the money. Comcast’s NBC is reportedly paying $110 million just to air this single game.

Peacock hasn’t exactly been the best performing streaming service in the market that includes Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, but it reached 30 million paid subscribers as of the end of 2023. It had 28 million paid subscribers in Q3 2023 — and while there’s no certainty of this, that two million gap may have been helped by the Dec. 23 game between the Los Angeles Chargers and Buffalo Bills that was exclusive to Peacock.

That game saw less than eight million viewers. NFL playoff games, at least on linear television, average 28.4 million viewers last year. NBC has a huge chance to earn subscribers from this.

The question is how many. And how many would justify the $110 million price tag.

If NBC was simply measuring the number of added subscribers, then it was would need over 18 million new subscribers to its “Premium” membership that’s priced at $5.99.

But subscribers added isn’t the only measurement for these streaming services. This serves as a way for new customers to try the platform and maybe stay subscribed after this one game.

And ultimately, it will serve as a barometer for what’s to come for the NFL and streaming.

Whether this move is “greedy” like Barkley said is in the eye of the beholder. But it’s no question that it’s a business move.

What do you see before the coverage begins?

Updated at 7:26 p.m. EST

If you’ve tuned in a little before 7:30 p.m., then you’ll be met by a waiting screen. No coverage yet as NBC broadcast of the Houston Texans versus the Cleveland Browns — which is also on Peacock, but not exclusive — comes to an end.

Will America watch the NFL on Peacock?

Updated at 6:11 p.m. EST

Less than two hours from kickoff for the Chiefs-Dolphins game and social media is tracking the national Peacock sign-up moment: 

Every uncle in America today to their 20-year old nephew after they help download Peacock app to watch NFL Playoffs pic.twitter.com/bIn2r7yLvF

— Trung Phan (@TrungTPhan) January 13, 2024

Keep reading to see exactly how to do it before the game begins.

Signing up for Peacock

Updated at 12:25 p.m. EST

If you’re thinking about signing up for Peacock for tonight’s game, but have concerns about the sign up process, you can see how I did it right here. 

Related: Patrick Mahomes’ net worth: The NFL star’s contract, investments, and more

The short answer is it’s not any different from signing up for any other service. I didn’t experience any lags or hiccups — at least as of eight hours before kick-off.

Peacock has two monthly plans: “Premium” for $5.99 a month, and “Premium Plus” for $11.99 a month before tax. It also offers yearly plans which cost $59.99 and $119.99, respectively, or 12 months for the price of ten.

Peacock’s monthly plan options

Colin Salao, Peacock


View the 5 images of this gallery on the
original article

The main benefit of the “Premium Plus” plan is the lack of ads — though Peacock tells you that there are “limited exclusions” to this. I assume that one of them is the NFL playoff game that Comcast is paying $110 million for.

The other benefits include being able to download and watch shows and movies offline, and also the ability to access the live NBC channel through Peacock. 

This isn’t really an added benefit to the NFL viewer — but remember that “The Office” is only available on Peacock! 

The sign up screen is pretty standard, and as with anything, expect a cost bump due to tax. For my Premium plan, I ended with $6.53 charge after tax here in Chicago.

You will then have to create a user profile for those sharing the account among family or roommates. Then you’ll be sent into the main window, which as of around 12:00 p.m. EST, was highlighting some English Premier League and not the NFL. But the next screen immediately showed the preview of the Wild Card game.

All in all, nothing out of the ordinary. The Peacock sign-up is just like any other streaming service. Let’s hope it stays that way when millions hop on later tonight.

Related: Travis Kelce’s net worth: How much the NFL player makes thanks to contracts, endorsements, and more

The first-ever NFL playoff game on Peacock

Updated Friday afternoon

The NFL playoffs start on Saturday, Jan. 13, and the primetime match-up may have a lot of fireworks — and it’s not because of the match-up on the field.

The AFC Wild Card playoff game between the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs and the Miami Dolphins will be airing on Peacock, making it the first NFL playoff game to ever air exclusively on a streaming service.

It’s a massive bet for Peacock and parent company Comcast  (CMCSA) – Get Free Report, which also owns NBC. The company reportedly paid $110 million just to air this playoff game.

But Amazon has already laid the blueprint for how to make streaming work for the NFL. Prime Video has aired “Thursday Night Football” and garnered nearly 12 million average viewers per game this season despite being behind a paywall, and there haven’t been any glaring issues with the service.

Amazon also declared that it had its largest number of sign-ups over a three-hour period when it aired its first-ever regular season game in 2022.

Related: Everyone from NBC to Amazon will be paying attention to one, specific NFL playoff game. Here’s why

Peacock already had its first run at airing an exclusive NFL game on Dec. 23. That game between the Buffalo Bills and Los Angeles Chargers averaged 7.3 million viewers, significantly lower than the viewership of NFL regular season games across all other broadcast partners.

But this is an NFL playoff game. America tunes in to NFL playoff games. 

Last year’s Wild Card games, which aired on linear channels, averaged 28.4 million viewers. This game also has the storyline to attract viewers as it features the superstar duo of Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce and the return of their former running mate in wide receiver Tyreek Hill to Arrowhead Stadium for the first time since he helped them win a Super Bowl in 2020.

Peacock is streaming the NFL playoff game Saturday between Kansas City Chiefs and Miami Dolphins.

TheStreet/Getty

There has been a lot of frustration on social media about the need to sign up for Peacock to watch the game, but whether fans actually bite the bullet remains to be seen. Will Peacock be able to attract a mass number of sign-ups? How will the network’s broadcast fare versus linear broadcasts?

Saturday night will be the barometer.

Anyone who wishes to sign-up for Peacock can do so here for as low as $5.99 for a month.

Stay tuned to this page. This article will be updated all weekend and especially during the game, so check back often.

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