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This Year's Most Popular Side Dish? The Sports Sneak.

65% Of U.S. Fans Will Do Whatever It Takes To Watch Their Favorite Teams. Even On Thanksgiving Day. With More Sports Being Streamed Than Ever Before, The “Sports Sneak” Has Reached New Heights – New Data From Peacock Finds Our Love of the Game Supersedes Work, Family Gatherings, Our Own Children’s Sporting Events And Especially Thanksgiving Dinner.

Sports Sneak_Peacock

November 16, 2023

Streamers are giving “keep your eye on the ball” a whole new meaning. According to a new survey from Peacock, 65% of U.S. sports fans have done a “sports sneak” — streaming sports content incognito in unconventional spaces. With sports more widely available on streaming services and mobile devices than ever before, it’s no wonder the “sports sneak” is becoming par for the course.

More than half of Peacock users have watched live sports in the last year, particularly on mobile devices. In fact, live sports viewing is 50% more likely to happen on a mobile device than non-sports related content. This is particularly true for soccer with Premier League scoring the highest rate of mobile consumption on the streamer. But it’s football that reigns supreme as the most watched sport on Peacock thanks to the Big Ten and NFL (and it wasn’t just because of that Chiefs game).

This rings true for “sneakers” as well. Football sacks the number one slot as the most “sneaked” sport by nearly 20%. Football's popularity may also explain why Thanksgiving ranks so high on the “places to sneak” list (coming in at #3) — food, family, football and sneaking may be the new holiday tradition. 

“Live sports is just another example of how streaming continues to both serve and influence consumer behavior,” said Kelly Campbell, President, Peacock and Direct-to-Consumer. “For years, fans were tethered to the big screen, but now we’re able to deliver the game on the go – and with live sports on Peacock more than 300 days a year, we’re proud to do our part in creating opportunities for our customers to engage in the “sports sneak” no matter where they are.” 

To get to the bottom of why “sports sneaking” is on the rise, Peacock asked the sneakers themselves and found some interesting trends:

Who Is Doing It and Where?

  • 65% of sports fans admit to having done a “sports sneak” and they’re doing it at family get-togethers (48%), during work (37%), at Thanksgiving dinner (36%), and in bed while their partner is sleeping (32%), to name a few. 
  • Peacock fans are particularly guilty as those who stream sports on the service are almost 16% more likely to "sneak" than those who don’t.
  • The most commonly sneaked sport is football.
  • Men are 23% more likely than women to indulge in a “sports sneak,” but… 
  • Women are the better “sneakers” as they’re 27% less likely to get caught in the act than men. 
  • Believe it or not, sports fans who are parents are the biggest culprits. Three-quarters have admitted to “sports sneaking” — 32% more likely than non-parents — and they’re doing it at their kids' recitals (21%), kids’ birthday parties (26%) and even at their own kids' sporting games (30%). 

How Do They Get Away With It…or Do They?

  • Over half (58%) of respondents have NOT been caught.
  • The most common strategies for a successful “sports sneak” were repositioning a chair or device in order to watch without anyone knowing (44%), hiding the device under a table, inside a jacket, behind a napkin, etc. (42%) and hiding out in the bathroom (37%). 
  • And apparently sneaking loves company — nearly a quarter of the people who caught them sneaking joined in to watch. That’s what we call a double play.

Down, Set, Sneak.

As we head into the holiday season where events and social gatherings are bound to interfere with our sports viewing pleasure, here’s a playbook on what’s heading to Peacock to help sneakers prep accordingly. Just remember to keep the cheering to a low, the hiding to a high and if all else fails, take a huddle in the restroom.

  • Peacock will continue to simulcast Sunday Night Football and will carry its first-ever exclusive NFL regular season game on Dec. 23, 2023 featuring the Bills at Chargers. Additional upcoming games include:
    • Vikings vs. Broncos on Nov. 19, 2023
    • 49ers vs. Seahawks on Thanksgiving Day Nov 23, 2023
  • Peacock will become the home to the first-ever exclusive live streamed NFL Playoff game, presenting an NFL Wild Card Playoff in prime time on Saturday, Jan. 13, 2024.
  • Peacock will also continue to be the streaming home for Big Ten and Notre Dame football, as well as men’s and women’s basketball. Upcoming games include:
    • USC Upstate vs. Minnesota (Men’s Basketball) on Nov. 18, 2023
    • Oregon State vs. Nebraska (Men’s Basketball) on Nov. 18, 2023
    • Illinois vs. Notre Dame (Women’s Basketball) on Nov. 18, 2023
    • Wake Forest vs. Notre Dame (Football) on Nov. 18, 2023
  • And because sports come in all shapes, sizes and species — don’t miss the National Dog Show on Peacock on Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 23, 2023)


We asked self-reported sports fans in the United States to participate in an online survey between June 23–29, 2023, receiving 1,000 complete responses. Respondents came from all different backgrounds and we ensured that we collected data from a representative sample of sports fans from different age, gender, and geographic regions. This survey was conducted by a third-party research organization, Sage Outcomes, commissioned by Peacock.