First Commercial-Free NFL Fourth Quarter Coming to Peacock


Fans tuning into Saturday’s NFL match-up between the Buffalo Bills and Los Angeles Chargers are going to see significantly fewer commercials.

NBCUniversal and the league have partnered for the NFL’s first commercial-free fourth quarter, a 40% reduction in standard NFL ad load.

Streaming exclusively on Peacock with coverage beginning at 8 p.m., Hyundai, Capital One and Walmart are sponsoring the experience. At the top of the fourth quarter, the broadcast will include a branded moment from the sponsors to acknowledge the commercial-free game, with no further advertisements.

“We were very proud that we were building Peacock to be AVOD, and that we were building it for and with advertisers,” Mark Marshall, chairman of NBCUniversal’s advertising and partnerships, told Adweek. “This is our next commitment to providing that really cool and unique viewing experience.

“We also felt like it was the right timing for building up through the whole season with Sunday Night Football and using that as a launchpad for it, but also right in the holiday season with marketers.”

In lieu of commercials, the broadcast will have more than 12 minutes of additional game-related content, including content takeovers and game features.

NBCUniversal will head to the studio three times, and each partner will have a role, according to Marshall.

“We are excited to be partnering with NBCUniversal to sponsor the NFL’s first-ever commercial-free fourth quarter experience during the Peacock Holiday Exclusive match-up,” said Angela Zepeda, chief marketing officer for Hyundai Motor America. “As the sports viewing landscape continues to evolve, we’re always looking to try new advertising formats and meet our customers where they are.”

Walmart and Hyundai are major sponsors throughout the year, and Capital One is joining Saturday’s game.

“We’re so excited to team up with NBCUniversal to bring audiences this first of its kind viewing experience,” said Cynthia Epley, vp of brand media strategy and investment at Capital One. “We know watching sports together can be an iconic tradition in households across the country, and Capital One is pleased to be a part of that this holiday season.”

According to Marshall, Peacock broadcasts have created new audiences for NFL telecasts, which the executive said benefits both the company and its advertisers.

“I don’t know whether it’s the Taylor Swift Effect, but the thing that’s been a nice surprise overall when we look at our ratings this year, our linear ratings are up 8% and digital is up 33% just for SNF,” said Marshall. “But if you look at young women, 18-34, that’s up 15%. For these advertisers and sponsors, it’s actually been an interesting conversation all year of getting new audiences.”

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