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#pounditTuesday, May 28, 2024

NFL commits to another streaming-only playoff game despite criticism

Roger Goodell in Europe for an NFL game

Nov 10, 2022; Munich, Germany; NFL commissioner Roger Goodell reacts during an NFL Flag Football community event at the FC Bayern Campus. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL’s decision to present a playoff game exclusively on a streaming platform attracted some sharp criticism this year, but the league plans to do the same again in 2025.

The NFL will schedule another streaming-only playoff game next season, this time on Amazon Prime, according to Joe Flint of the Wall Street Journal. NBC’s Peacock service had the exclusive rights to the most recent one, an AFC Wild Card game between the Miami Dolphins and Kansas City Chiefs.

Amazon already holds the rights to the NFL’s “Thursday Night Football” package, but had passed on the chance to broadcast the first ever streaming-only playoff game. The broadcast was a success for NBC despite the criticism, drawing 23 million viewers to their streaming platform.

While the NFL’s decision was not a popular one, it makes sense from a business perspective. Given Amazon Prime’s wider reach and greater familiarity among regular NFL viewers, this might attract a bit less criticism than the Peacock game did, though some fans will not be happy no matter what.

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