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Peacock: AFC Wild Card game ‘biggest live-streamed event in U.S. history’

The promo screen for the Kansas City Chiefs and Miami Dolphins on the Peacock streaming service.
Phil Nickinson / Digital Trends

Not that you really needed any more evidence, but the era of live sports on streaming services isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. To wit: Peacock — the streaming service owned by NBCUniversal — says that the January 14 NFL postseason game between the Kansas City Chiefs and Miami Dolphins was the “most-streamed live event in U.S. history.”

While we’re a little inclined to take streaming numbers with some skepticism, we’re also inclined to believe that statement, for a number a reasons. First is that more people are streaming than ever before. And that number is likely to continue to climb for the foreseeable future. Second is that this AFC Wild Card game was (mostly) only available on Peacock. It wasn’t on NBC’s broadcast channels, unless you were in the teams’ hometowns of Miami or Kansas City. The game was available on NFL+, however.

And third is that Peacock is sourcing Nielsen for its stats.

Also helping things were the numerous storylines within the game itself. Miami was hot earlier in the year, but it’s struggled in the playoffs in recent years. (And again this year, losing 26-7 to the Chiefs.) Kansas City has had another powerhouse season behind its near-legendary coach, Andy Reid. It was the fourth-coldest game on record, as evidenced by Reid’s frozen mustache.

And, of course, there’s Taylor Swift.

So the game had all the makings of a must-watch live event, which worked out perfectly for Peacock. Here are some numbers on that front:

  • According to Nielsen, the game reached a total of 27.6 million viewers.
  • It peaked at an average of 24.6 million viewers in the second quarter, between 9:15 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. ET.
  • That average goes up to 26.3 million when you include the NBC stations in Miami and Kansas City (where the game was available on broadcast TV), as well as the NFL+ service.
  • Peacock says it’s the largest single day of audience usage since the streamer launched in mid-2020.
  • And Peacock says the game was the “most-streamed event ever in the U.S.” with an average minute audience (that’s known as an AMA) of 23 million viewers across Peacock, NBC in the teams’ home markets, and on NFL+ on mobile devices.

That last number is interesting because we can compare it with other recent NFL events. Super Bowl LVII, which aired on Fox in February 2023, averaged 7 million streams. And Super Bowl LIV, which aired on NBC in February 2022, had an AMA of 6 million, which increased to 11.2 million if you count “co-viewing” from connected devices.

So, yeah. More people streamed the Chiefs-Dolphins than ever before. Look for that trend to continue. That was the only game of this postseason to see exclusivity on a streaming service, however.

Super Bowl LVII is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, February 11. It’ll be broadcast on CBS, and also be available on Nickelodeon and Paramount+.

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Phil Nickinson
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Phil spent the 2000s making newspapers with the Pensacola (Fla.) News Journal, the 2010s with Android Central and then the…
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