The National Football League has struck a deal with Comcast to make Peacock the exclusive home of one wild card playoff game next year.
The game is scheduled to take place on January 13, and will start between 8 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Eastern Time.
NBC stations in the home markets of each team will also carry the game live on broadcast television. Everyone else will need to plunk down some cash to stream the game, with a subscription to Peacock charged at $5 a month. Comcast’s customers will be included in this, as a free tier of Peacock Premium will end for Xfinity video and Internet customers in June.
Speaking at an investor conference on Tuesday, Comcast CEO Brian Roberts said moving the game exclusively to Peacock for all but the fans in each team’s home market made sense because sports, like other content, is increasingly being consumed on streaming services.
“Cord cutting continues to happen,” Roberts said. “And people are not watching and consuming less entertainment, they’re doing it more and more by streaming.”
The deal comes one year after the NFL forged a partnership with Amazon that saw Thursday Night Football games leave Fox and the NFL Network for exclusive national distribution on Prime Video and Twitch.
As part of its agreement with the networks, the NFL has long required that games be made available to fans in the team’s home markets through free broadcast television. The stipulation usually results in Monday Night Football games, broadcast by ESPN, aired on some local ABC stations and affiliates. Likewise, games aired on Prime Video are offered to broadcasters in each team’s home market.
The requirement reflects the NFL’s continued view that making games available on free television satisfies local fans who want to follow the action, while giving the networks and others room to experiment with delivering games exclusively on streaming television platforms like Peacock and Prime Video.