Earlier this month, we reported Peacock finalized a deal for an exclusive live stream of an NFL game between the Buffalo Bills and Los Angeles Chargers this December. Since then, Peacock announced it will also stream an exclusive wild card playoff game on January 13th as well.
Sources are reporting the one-year deal for this playoff game is “in the range of $110 million,” although the specific terms of the agreement have not been released. The vague number comes from anonymous people related to the deal who didn’t reveal any more intel than that.
The Wall Street Journal stated this “marks the first time that a postseason game will be available mostly to consumers only through streaming and not a national broadcast or cable network as well.” Back in 2020, Amazon Prime streamed a playoff game that also was broadcasted on CBS and Nickelodeon.
The exclusivity of next season’s playoff game isn’t entirely exclusive. NBCUniversal executives have already said the two wild card teams’ markets will still get to watch through their local television stations. Those who want to watch the Buffalo Bills and Lose Angeles Chargers, however, will need to sign up with Peacock to do so.
This all comes into play as Disney announced earlier today it is considering taking ESPN off cable entirely, making the network available only via streaming platforms.
ESPN Chairman Jimmy Pitaro stated in an interview with Bloomberg, “We’re going to get to a point where we take our entire network, our flagship programming, and make it available directly to consumers. That’s a ‘when,’ not an ‘if’….We’re only going to do it when it makes sense for our business and for our bottom line.”
Disney has kept ESPN available on cable due to the massive amount of ad revenue it generates from cable television broadcasts. Although, if selling a single NFL game for $110 million is the beginning rate, other streaming services may soon find themselves in a bidding war for either exclusive rights to games or to be able to add other ESPN content to their platforms.