Last year marked the first year the NFL streamed a playoff game exclusively on a streaming service. That game was streamed on Peacock, when the Kansas City Chiefs beat the Miami Dolphins in the Wild Card round on Jan. 13. NFL fans grumbled about it and many of them, at least according to their social posts, skipped the game. But, the game drew approximately 23 million viewers, which set a record as the most-streamed live event in U.S. history. In addition, the game was broadcast to 32.1 million total viewers, the NFL reports. That said, it shouldn’t be a big surprise that the NFL is turning to more streaming-only games for the upcoming season.

Fans should get ready for even streaming-only games during the 2024 NFL season. The NFL announced earlier this week that two games, including a playoff game, will only air on streaming platforms, including Peacock and Amazon Prime.

Streaming-Only Games This Season

For starters, Peacock will exclusively stream the NFL’s first game set for South America, which will happen in São Paulo, Brazil, on the Friday of Week 1 (Sept. 6). For that game, the Philadelphia Eagles will be the home team. The team playing them as yet to be announced.

Also, Amazon’s Prime will add an NFL Wild Card game to their schedule this season. Amazon’s Prime will also still be the home of Thursday Night Football, for a third year.

“As media consumption habits evolve, the NFL continues to work with our partners to put our games on digital platforms where our fans are increasingly spending their time,” Hans Schroeder, NFL executive vice president of media distribution, said in a statement.

He added, “The viewership success of both Thursday Night Football on Prime Video and the historic Wild Card game on Peacock last season are strong indicators our streaming distribution is resonating with our fans.”

Americans Love Watching Football

If there was any doubt about the popularity of football, that should be put to rest with 2023’s numbers. Football is always a strong ratings driver, and it was at a peak for the 2023 season. For the season, 93 of the top 100 most-watched programs on television were NFL games. In addition, many of the other top-watched programs were college football games.

What’s more, Amazon Prime wrapped up its second season of Thursday Night Football with huge numbers. Those nights averaged 11.7 million viewers during the 2023 season. That was up 22% from 2022, according to the NFL. Could it be the Taylor Swift effect? Who knows, but the numbers were massive.


I love watching football, and I’m a sports reporter and podcast host, so it comes with the territory. That said, I wish more of these streaming-only games would be broadcast via traditional stations. Football is America’s sport. It’s for the people. Now, in order to catch all the games, you have to purchase not one but multiple streaming services. But, I understand that the NFL is a business. They’re making big bucks by licensing games to streaming platforms for exclusive use. Let’s just hope that the main games of interest are broadcast free, for all to watch.