Cord-Cutting Trend Hits Sports Bars: Peacock Deal Leaves Fans and Establishments in Disarray

Cord-Cutting Trend Hits Sports Bars: Peacock Deal Leaves Fans and Establishments in DisarrayPeacock - NBCUniversal




The recent Peacock deal for broadcasting NFL games exclusively on their streaming platform has created a significant impact, particularly on sports bars. Fans of the Kansas City Chiefs and Miami Dolphins outside their cities must now subscribe to Peacock to watch the Super Wild Card Round. This move, costing bars additional expenses for streaming devices and licenses, reflects a major shift in sports broadcasting and viewer habits, emphasizing the growing trend of cord-cutting and streaming services over traditional cable networks.

Kelly O’Brian’s sports bar in Colorado Springs, known for broadcasting every NFL game, was caught off guard by this new streaming requirement, leading to unexpected costs and logistical challenges. The bar’s efforts to adapt reflect a broader trend in sports broadcasting, where streaming services are increasingly gaining ground over traditional cable networks.

A Historic NFL Playoff Game Exclusively on Peacock

Tonight’s Wild Card matchup between the Kansas City Chiefs and Miami Dolphins will broadcast exclusively on Peacock outside of the Kansas City and Miami markets, making it the first-ever NFL playoff game to be broadcast only on a streaming service—the product of NBCUniversal’s big bet on the game as a potential gateway to more Peacock subscribers.

NBCUniversal’s Ambitious Move to Boost Peacock

NBCUniversal has envisioned sports as a key to growing out its Peacock streaming service, which at 30 million subscribers, remains a relatively small player in the streaming wars. In May, NBCUniversal announced a deal with the NFL to stream one playoff game this season, which was valued at $110 million, the Wall Street Journal reported.

By sacrificing substantial ad revenue, NBCUniversal hopes to offer a premier sports experience that might draw in Peacock subscribers. The company previously broadcasted last month’s Bills-Chargers game commercial-free in the fourth quarter on Peacock and plans to do the same with tonight’s playoff game.

The Impact on Sports Bars and Fans

The Peacock deal has significant implications for sports bars and NFL fans across the country. Fans outside Miami and Kansas City who wish to watch the Super Wild Card Weekend match must now subscribe to Peacock. This change has left many avid fans disgruntled as they flock to social media to express their frustrations.

Kelly O’Brian’s sports bar, among many others, is facing unexpected costs and challenges due to the new streaming requirement. From acquiring streaming devices to obtaining necessary licenses, these establishments are forced to adapt quickly to stay in business.

The Future of Sports Broadcasting

The Peacock deal serves as a striking example of the ongoing shift in sports broadcasting. Increasingly, streaming services are gaining ground over traditional cable networks. As more people cut the cord and opt for streaming options, it is likely that similar exclusive deals will become more common in the future.

While the transition poses challenges for sports bars, it also opens up new opportunities for streaming platforms like Peacock. By securing exclusive rights to live sports events, streaming services can attract more subscribers and provide a unique viewing experience.

As tonight’s historic game unfolds on Peacock, the world will be watching to see how this bold move impacts the future of sports broadcasting and the viewer habits that continue to evolve in the digital age.