The recent NFL playoff game, exclusively broadcasted on Peacock, has marked a significant milestone in the history of streaming platforms, according to Nielsen’s latest report. This game not only showcased the growing influence of streaming services in sports broadcasting but also contributed to the biggest streaming day Nielsen has ever recorded. The match between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Miami Dolphins on January 13 captivated nearly 23 million viewers, attributing to 3.9 billion minutes of watch time, including local over-the-air broadcasts.

January’s Surge in TV Consumption

Nielsen’s monthly TV usage report highlighted a notable 3.7 percent increase in January’s viewership compared to December, marking the highest TV consumption in the past four years, pandemic months excluded. Streaming platforms, capturing 36 percent of all TV usage, along with broadcast networks at 24.2 percent, saw significant gains in their viewership shares. The cold weather played a role in keeping audiences indoors, but high-profile events like the NFL playoff on Peacock were key drivers of this surge.

Peacock achieved its highest monthly share in the Gauge rankings, holding 1.6 percent of all TV usage for January, while YouTube and Netflix remained the leading individual streaming platforms. The NFL’s influence extended beyond Peacock, with sports broadcasting accounting for 28 percent of all broadcast viewing during the month. Meanwhile, Netflix’s Fool Me Once led as the top streaming title, with 6.5 billion minutes viewed, reflecting the diverse interests of audiences.

The Broader Impact on Broadcast and Cable

Despite the gains in streaming and sports viewership, overall broadcast viewing experienced a 20 percent decline compared to January of the previous year, underscoring the shifting landscape of TV consumption. Cable TV also saw a slight increase in viewership, though its overall share of TV use dipped slightly. These trends underscore the evolving preferences of viewers, increasingly leaning towards streaming platforms for both entertainment and major live events like the NFL playoffs.

The landmark NFL playoff game on Peacock, coupled with January’s spike in TV and streaming consumption, illustrates the shifting dynamics of how audiences engage with content. As streaming platforms continue to secure exclusive rights to major sporting events, the landscape of television viewership is undergoing a significant transformation, reflecting changing consumer habits and the growing importance of digital platforms in the broadcast domain.