by Julian Spivey
One of the biggest stories about the NFL Playoffs heading into the Wild Card Round this upcoming weekend has been the bitching and moaning on the internet about the second game of Saturday’s postseason slate between the Miami Dolphins and Kansas City Chiefs appearing exclusively on the Peacock streaming service.
Now, there are only three options for you regarding this game.
1. If you’re already a Peacock subscriber (as I am) go to the Peacock app on your TV, computer or phone and pull up the game and enjoy. You could also see if you have any family or friends with Peacock and make a party of it.
2. Pay $5.99/month to subscribe to Peacock. And here’s a hint: if none of the programming on the service interests you you can cancel your subscription at any point and only be out the $5.99.
3. Don’t watch the game.
If you’re in the Miami or Kansas City markets don’t worry the game will appear on your local NBC affiliate.
All of those options are fine by me. But whining about a game being on a service you don’t have is such a first-world problem that it merely comes off as annoying to the rest of us who understand what leaving in 2024 is like and how streaming is likely the future for many sporting events – certainly not all, don’t suspect we’ll ever see the Super Bowl exclusively on Paramount+ or anything like that but whether it’s a playoff game in a major sports league or 14% of the NASCAR season (as it will be beginning in 2025 on Amazon Prime Video) or something else you might as well realize your options are to subscribe or give up.
I’d rather watch the sporting events I love than be without them. If you don’t feel that way that’s perfectly fine but please do the third option up above without driving the rest of us up a wall about it. Please enjoy the other five playoff games over the weekend. You should be able to watch with an old-school antenna if you choose as they will all be on ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox.
However, I suspect many of those complaining are going to find one way or another to watch these games, even if they have to shell out the $5.99 to do so.
There’s no inalienable right that states your favorite sporting events must be on a TV channel everyone has access to. Other outlets, including streamers, have every right to spend their money as they please and NBCUniversal spent a lot of money - $110 million according to the Wall Street Journal – for the one-year rights to exclusively air the Saturday at 7 p.m. (CST) playoff game exclusively on Peacock.
It’s only a one-year deal, so if the league doesn’t believe enough people tuned into the game on Peacock to make it worthwhile for them they might do something else with it next year – or another outlet can outbid NBCUniversal for the rights to show it wherever they would like.
It’s truly a perfect business model for Peacock, especially with the get of the game including the Kansas City Chiefs, which are one of America’s most-watched teams, especially since the relationship between Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce and Taylor Swift began during the season and many Swifties, who may never have watched football otherwise, have tuned in to root for Kelce and see in-game shots of Swift cheering him on from a spectator’s box. Don’t scoff at that as a factor. I know one close personal friend who’s a Swiftie who has done exactly that.
NBCUniversal has every right to try to promote its Peacock brand by airing this football game exclusively on the streamer and the NFL has every right to sell the game to the highest bidder. As a fan, you just have to deal with it.