In a recent announcement, NBC Universal claimed that the NFL playoff game it streamed exclusively on its streaming service, Peacock, was a resounding success. The company cited impressive ratings, with a viewer count of approximately 23 million, as well as self-generated statistics regarding internet usage during the game. However, NBC did not disclose the number of people who signed up and paid for Peacock to watch the game.
Now, subscription tracking service Antenna has shed some light on the matter. According to Antenna, nearly 3 million subscribers signed up for Peacock over a three-day period leading up to the January 13 game. This figure represents the largest sign-up rate for a "singular programming event" that Antenna has ever witnessed. To put this into perspective, Antenna compares it to Disney+'s launch day in 2019, when the streaming service reportedly gained 2.5 million sign-ups, although Disney announced a total of 10 million sign-ups. The methodology behind Antenna's data collection and the potential discrepancies between their numbers and official figures from Disney can be found on their website.
NBC's parent company, Comcast, declined to comment on Antenna's report. However, Comcast is set to release its earnings report on Thursday, which may shed further light on the matter.
Despite the complaints that have surfaced regarding the decision to place a high-profile NFL playoff game on a paid streaming service, it seems that this strategy has proven effective in attracting subscribers. The key question now is how many of these subscribers will continue to pay for the service after the game concludes. Churn, or the rate at which subscribers cancel their streaming service subscriptions, is a significant concern for streaming platforms. However, it will take some time before we have an answer to this question.
Overall, the success of Peacock's NFL playoff game streaming demonstrates the potential allure of exclusive content on a paid streaming service. The long-term sustainability of these subscriber numbers, however, remains uncertain.