Peacock-exclusive WC game proves ‘future is now’

Mike Florio and Peter King shed light on how TNF streaming was the NFL's first step toward the future and how the Peacock-exclusive Wild Card playoff game is another step in the same direction.

Video Transcript

- I have foolishly made my email address available to the world. I am now the first line of defense for anything and everything about which people have concerns. I have been fending off the pitchforks and torches all week over the Peacock exclusive playoff game January 13. Yes, Peacock, home of an exclusive Wild Card playoff game, and it's only $4.99 a month. So quit complaining about it, but they keep complaining to me.

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I also got multiple emails expressing concern for your whereabouts when there was no column on Monday, and I have a feeling that every Monday between now and the return of your column I am going to get emails from someone expressing concerns about the whereabouts of a Mr. Peter King.

PETER KING: Well, here I am. And by the way, Mike, first of all, I've never taken 11 weeks off in my life. I just kind of want to see what it's like. I was with family in Berkeley, California last weekend. My daughter, Mary Beth, and her family are in Brooklyn where my disemboweled head is this morning.

But I just wanted to see what it was like, and I just want to see what else there is in life, quite honestly. But the one thing I really am glad you brought up the Peacock thing because I got maybe 10 emails or so. I'm sure you got 400. But I just sort of have this feeling, Mike, along with this ESPN news of yesterday. As we sit here right now, ESPN basically now saying that it eventually may likely will become a streamer because that is what is happening with television.

And look, I understand that people don't like paying for something that forever THEY got for free. I totally understand it. However, I would ask this question, did you really get it for free? Did you really get all of football games for free, or unless you have the strongest set of antenna and rabbit ears in history that somehow get cable, and so can get ESPN, and whatever else over the years the NFL games have been on? It hasn't been free.


And granted, this is going to be an extra whatever that you'll have to pay. And I understand the outrage and the disappointment and all that, but I guess I would just say that it just isn't our birthright to get things the way they have always been gotten, period.

And I don't know-- look, this is not favorable to anybody who clearly does not want to pay for another streaming service. I totally get it, and I'm not trying to diss anybody or anything like that, but this is the future. Like it or not, this is the way television is going. It's going to streaming. It's not just going to be Amazon Prime on a Thursday night.

The next television contract that the NFL has, the TV landscape is going to be monumentally different in eight years when the new TV negotiations begin. And so-- and I'm not saying, hey, this is a warning. This is a shot across the bow. I don't mean that.

But what I mean is that we're in a world that is changing before our very eyes, and why do you think the NFL put the Thursday Night package with a streamer? Because they see the future in the NFL, not just for whatever it is, 16 regular season games on a Thursday night, and then a Black Friday game. It isn't only for that. It is essentially, eventually, I believe, this is the way people are going to consume television by streaming.


- And Peter, I think it's not just the NFL sees the future. I think the NFL is trying to force the future. The NFL is trying to compel people to change their habits now, to make the shift now to non-cable, non-satellite packages where it's a layering of whatever you choose to have. That's the good news here, and I think people are conditioned to get free stuff because the internet was free for so long, and because it was free from the get-go. Oh, I don't want to pay for anything, but nothing really is free.

To your point about even if people have a great set of antenna, rabbit ears, whatever to take the signals out of the sky and get great three letter broadcast content, you still have to pay for the TV. That's not free. There's a cost to all of it. And if you can take the monthly charge that you're paying for all those hundreds of channels where you only watch five of them at the most, and you can pick and choose what you want, that's freedom for the consumer.

And when you consider the Peacock has more live sports than any other streamer, and does have an exclusive Wild Card playoff game Saturday night, January 13, and exclusively week 16 Saturday night Bills at Chargers, not exactly a game you want to miss two nights before Christmas day, it's a pretty good deal at $4.99, not $14.99, not $19.99, $4.99 a month, the cheapest of all the streaming services out there.

And people think that once you have a relationship with a streaming service, it's like til death do us part. Like, it's too hard to dump it. Oh, I can't get another one. You don't have to get another one. It can be a 0-sum game. You can dump one and pick up Peacock. That's your choice as a consumer.

So yes, I have been hearing that all week. I'm glad that we agree. You were slightly more eloquent than I was when explaining it the other day, but it really is beyond me that people would be upset about something like this because the future is now. It's not some vague notion eight years out. It's already here. It's just a question of when consumers are going to embrace the fact that the future is now.