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NFL fans will need to subscribe to Peacock if they don't want to miss a playoff game

The NFL forayed into exclusive streaming with Amazon Prime last season. Now, the league is diving deeper.

Peacock will air the first exclusive live streamed NFL playoff game, NBCUniversal and the NFL announced Monday. It will be a prime-time wild-card matchup Saturday, Jan. 13, 2024.

Luckily for those who don't intend on subscribing to Peacock, fans in the markets of the two teams playing will be able to watch on local stations.

The exclusive game will be streamed immediately after another wild-card game that will air on NBC and stream on Peacock.

The NFL is giving Peacock exclusive streaming rights to a wild card game. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger, File)
The NFL is giving Peacock exclusive streaming rights to a wild-card game. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger, File) (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

NBCUniversal, which owns Peacock, reportedly paid in the range of $110 million to stream the game, according to Joe Flint and Jessica Toonkel of The Wall Street Journal.

NFL executive vice president and chief operating officer of NFL Media Hans Schroeder said the deal is key for the league to grow.

"Expanding the digital distribution of NFL content while maintaining wide reach for our games continues to be a key priority for the League, and bringing the excitement of an NFL playoff game exclusively to Peacock's streaming platform is the next step in that strategy," he said in a statement.

The distribution of NFL content is definitely diverse. Games this season will appear on CBS, Fox, NBC, ESPN, ESPN+, ABC, NFL Network, Amazon Prime and now Peacock. Like Peacock's wild-card game, the Falcons-Jaguars game in London will be exclusive to ESPN+.

Peacock will also host an exclusive NFL regular-season game for the first time this season. The prime-time AFC matchup will see Justin Herbert and the Los Angeles Chargers host Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills at 8 p.m. ET on Saturday, Dec. 23.

NBCUniversal is apparently looking to diversify like the NFL, as Peacock was a home for Major League Baseball and Premier League action last year.

Amazon doesn't divulge specific numbers, but when the company's exclusive NFL games were announced, industry estimates placed the platform's U.S. subscribers anywhere between 147 million and 172 million members. That meant most U.S. NFL fans were most likely already subscribed.

The same may not be true for Peacock, which had 21 million paid subscribers in the first quarter of 2023, per Statista. That puts the company in an interesting position as it faces a potential influx of new paid subscribers, or an expensive playoff game with low viewership.