Peacock’s Record-Breaking Day Helped Power Streaming’s Gains in January





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Streaming video notched a slight gain over cable in a January that saw more people stay glued to their television amid an unusually cold month, according to Nielsen’s The Gauge report.

The monthly break down showed the share of streaming inching up to 36% from 35.9% in December, while cable viewing fell to 27.9% from 28.2%, Nielsen said. One of the highlights was Peacock’s exclusive stream of the AFC Wild Card game between the Miami Dolphins and the Kansas City Chiefs, which generated 3.9 billion viewing minutes and gave January 13 the crown as the largest daily volume of streaming since the firm began compiling The Gauge in 2021. Peacock called it the biggest live-streamed event in U.S. history, reaching 23 million viewers.

That game helped drive the only meaningful change in the rankings of the streamers, with Peacock surpassing FOX-owned Tubi in the rankings. Both saw a slight uptick in viewers, but Peacock had a larger gain. The rest of pack remain unchanged, with YouTube still on top, followed by Netflix. There’s a steeper drop of viewers before getting to No. 3 Prime Video, which saw its streaming powered by the popularity of Reacher.

The numbers offer insight into what people are watching and where, and show a trend line of how cord cutters are impacting the state of entertainment. They also show the power of sports, with NFL playoff coverage driving much of the big gains in the month, and explain why traditional media companies and Big Tech are so willing to pay high prices for the broadcast rights.

The top program for the month was Netflix’s Fool Me Once, with 6.5 billion streaming minutes, followed by perennial kids show Bluey on Disney+, and Reacher.

February could be in for a shakeup with the start of an abbreviated television season, which had to be pushed back because of the Hollywood strikes.

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