The Wall Street Journal reports NBCUniversal paid around $110 million for national broadcast rights to one Wild Card round playoff game.
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The NFL just announced a new deal with Peacock that gives the NBCUniversal-owned streaming service national broadcast rights to one wild card playoff game next season. Described as the “first-ever exclusive live streamed NFL Playoff game,” it will feature two teams facing off in primetime on January 13th, 2024. The arrangement was first reported by The Wall Street Journal, which cites sources saying the deal for this one game is worth around $110 million.
Of course, we don’t know which two teams will be playing, but for fans without Peacock, options for watching may depend on where you live. Along with a regular season game (Bills vs. Chargers on December 23rd, or as you may know it, the Burn It All game) that will also be a Peacock exclusive, the game will be broadcast in those teams’ local markets on an NBC affiliate and on NFL Plus, the league’s subscription streaming platform made for phones and tablets but not TVs.
The Peacock exclusive Wild Card game and regular season game will be broadcast on NBC stations in the two competing team cities, and available on mobile devices with NFL+. The NFL is the only sports league that presents all regular-season and postseason games on free, over-the-air television in local markets.
According to the WSJ, when the league struck new broadcasting deals in 2021, it reserved the rights to one playoff game per season, and this NBCUniversal deal is only for the 2023 postseason. NFL Media exec Hans Schroeder told the outlet it’s “likely” that in future years, the game will continue to be streaming only, which could attract bids to put it on platforms including Peacock again, Viacom-owned Paramount Plus, Disney’s ESPN Plus streaming, or Fox’s Tubi.
Disclosure: Comcast, which owns NBCUniversal, is also an investor in Vox Media, The Verge’s parent company.