Peacock NFL broadcast Peacock plans commercial free fourth quarter for Bills-Chargers.

NBC faced a ton of backlash for its choice to broadcast this past Saturday’s Buffalo Bills-Los Angeles Chargers game exclusively on Peacock, their streaming platform. As expected, a significantly lower number of fans watched this game in comparison to the more traditional NBC broadcast that aired earlier in the day.

The network broadcasted the Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Cincinnati Bengals game earlier on their traditional NBC channel. It saw 14.29 million viewers tuning into the game and a 7.0 Nielsen rating.

The matchup on Peacock Saturday night fell far short of this, bringing in only 9.9 million viewers with an average high of only 8.3 million viewers from 10:45-11 p.m. ET. The game sat at an average of 7.2 million viewers Across Peacock, NBC stations in Los Angeles and Buffalo, and NFL+.

The highest average viewership was recorded during the commercial-free fourth quarter of the game. Instead of airing commercials, the broadcast would switch back to the NBC studio team to provide additional insights about the game.

It obviously makes sense that this first-ever Peacock exclusive broadcast didn’t do as well in viewership compared to the traditional NBC broadcast earlier in the day. Peacock comes with a subscription fee that many fans have made clear that they don’t want to pay.

However, it becomes interesting when you compare Peacock’s viewership numbers to Amazon’s, who also offer their games on a streaming service, Amazon Prime.

Thus far on the season, Amazon is averaging 11.97 million viewers, an increase of around 25 percent from the 2022 season to this point.

Peacock falls a bit short of Amazon’s average streaming numbers as well for the year.

NBC Sports President Rick Cordella issued a statement on the viewership numbers, calling the numbers a “strong sign” ahead of the network’s planned exclusive broadcast of an NFL Wild Card playoff game on Peacock in January.

“Peacock and NBC Sports successfully delivered the streaming service’s first-ever exclusive NFL game with the innovative commercial-free fourth quarter,” said Cordella. “Winning the night in primetime is a strong sign heading into our upcoming Peacock exclusive NFL Wild Card playoff game on Jan. 13.”

[NBC Sports PR]

About Reice Shipley

Reice Shipley is a staff writer for Comeback Media that graduated from Ithaca College with a degree in Sports Media. He previously worked at Barrett Sports Media and is a fan of all things Syracuse sports.