Roger Goodell Sep 7, 2023; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is interviewed prior to a game between the Detroit Lions and the Kansas City Chiefs at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Public outrage has ensued over the NFL putting a playoff game behind a paywall, and when there’s public outrage over something, it’s never long before a politician attempts to hijack the debate.

Rep. Pat Ryan (D-NY) entered the chat Friday morning, sharing his disgust with the NFL and NBC Sports for deciding to put one of Wild Card Weekend’s six games exclusively on the streaming platform Peacock. The NFL gave Peacock Saturday night’s matchup between the Miami Dolphins and Kansas City Chiefs, arguably the weekend’s most intriguing game.

“It is absolutely ridiculous that my constituents, who already pay for NBC, have to pay even more to watch this game,” Ryan wrote. “How much more profit do Roger Goodell and NBC need to make at the expense of hard working Americans before they are satisfied? I’m demanding the NFL and NBC stop the BS and offer fans the service they already pay for, or we’re coming for your antitrust exemption.”

Ryan addressed the scathing letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and NBC Sports President Rick Cordella.

“Fans already face exorbitant prices to watch every game during the regular season; they don’t deserve to be squeezed even further by greedy corporations,” Ryan continued. “This bait-and-switch is particularly egregious for consumers who already pay for NBC as part of their cable package.”

To temper Ryan’s outrage, the congressman should know the broadcast will still be available over-the-air on NBC affiliates in the game’s local markets, Kansas City and Miami. And for the “consumers who already pay for NBC as part of their cable package” that Ryan is attempting to speak on behalf of, the congressman should be reminded NBC is a free, over-the-air network.

That doesn’t lessen the blow for those outside of Kansas City and Miami who will need to borrow a friend’s Peacock login credentials, shell out $5.99 for a subscription, or go to a local sports bar/restaurant to watch the game.

Chiefs-Dolphins is the first NFL playoff game to broadcast exclusively on any streaming service and Ryan is not alone in his outrage. Ripping the NFL over the Peacock game and subsequent money grab has been a common theme this week with Charles Barkley, Mike Francesa and Bill Simmons among those who have issued similar rants.

Despite “demanding” the NFL and NBC end this Peacock experiment, Ryan’s plea won’t be successful. Even if fans join Ryan in condemning “greedy corporations” like the NFL and NBC for taking advantage of a free market economy, they usually won’t turn their attention toward rallying around “altruistic” politicians.

[Pat Ryan]

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