Peacock is the only source for tonight’s playoff game between Miami and Kansas City, and the most surprising result is that through three quarters, the service is mostly holding up to the task. The game just entered the fourth quarter, which is going to be “commercial free,” but that may not be enough to make everyone happy about the deal the NFL made to take a playoff game away from regular TV broadcast availability and put it on a streaming service operated by NBCUniversal.
Most initial viewer complaints online were more about needing Peacock to tune into the game, instead of connection or login issues that have occasionally marred live sports streaming before. However, some folks have noted audio problems, had streams glitch and hang up during the action, or are only getting a low-resolution version of the game.
Still, the broadcast has mostly avoided the quality issues experienced during Netflix’s mashup of F1 and golf that recently aired from Las Vegas, presenting a surprisingly standard HD NFL viewing experience, just online.
Like the last Peacock-exclusive pro football game, airing on a Saturday night is definitely affecting the viewership. But given Travis Kelce adding Taylor Swift’s fans to the group of people tuning in (and some guy named Patrick Mahomes), it may register a number much higher than the nearly 10 million viewers Nielsen counted for that Bill vs. Chargers game in December.
Disclosure: Comcast, which owns NBCUniversal, is also an investor in Vox Media, The Verge’s parent company.