Howard Stern Photo credit: The Howard Stern Show

Howard Stern doesn’t watch the NFL and the King of All Media is predicting more people might start to join him.

The NFL caused a stir last weekend by putting arguably its most intriguing Wild Card Weekend game behind a paywall when Saturday night’s Kansas City Chiefs-Miami Dolphins matchup aired exclusively on NBC’s streaming platform Peacock.

The decision turned the NFL into a sort of punching bag, with Charles Barkley, Mike Francesa and Bill Simmons among those who ripped the league for its apparent money grab. Even politicians weighed in, with Rep. Pat Ryan (D-NY) “demanding” the NFL and NBC call off the exclusive Peacock broadcast to no avail. But perhaps the most surprising and hypocritical ire came from Howard Stern, who forecasted a day of reckoning for the NFL.

“It’s too much. It’s too confusing,” Stern said on his SiriusXM show, complaining about all the streaming platforms it takes to watch NFL games. “They’re going to the well too many times. At some point, the fans will rebel. They will.”

Stern wasn’t concerned for himself, considering he doesn’t watch sports. He was concerned for the common sports fan who needed to shell out $5.99 for a Peacock subscription if they wanted to watch the Chiefs and Dolphins play. Kind of like Stern’s fans, who have been paying for satellite subscriptions since their favorite radio host moved behind a paywall almost two decades ago.

As leagues attempt to find every which way of raking in a dollar, perhaps Stern’s belief that it will eventually turn fans off from the sport comes from experience. Surely, Stern fans have griped about having to pay for a SiriusXM subscription if they want to listen to the show. And surely, Stern has less daily listeners on satellite as compared to when he was on terrestrial radio for free in every major market until Jan. 9, 2006, although SiriusXM doesn’t share that data.

But just as Stern has continued to conquer the fear of rebelling fans by signing contract extension reportedly worth hundreds of millions of dollars, the NFL will prevail and did prevail over the weekend when 30 million fans tuned in to watch Peacock’s Wild Card game. At least the NFL still made the Peacock game free for fans in the local Kansas City and Miami markets. Stern’s show isn’t free anywhere.


About Brandon Contes

Brandon Contes is a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He previously helped carve the sports vertical for Mediaite and spent more than three years with Barrett Sports Media. Send tips/comments/complaints to