New $113 Billion NFL Media Rights Deal Gives Fans More Options To Watch Games
The NFL has finalized a new round of broadcast rights agreements, providing the league with a financial windfall and fans with more options to watch the games.
Amazon, CBS, ESPN/ABC, Fox and NBC, which all currently broadcast NFL games, have signed deals with the league through 2033. The new agreements, which were announced on Thursday and will commence with the start of the 2023 season, include television and expanded streaming rights.
"These new media deals will provide our fans even greater access to the games they love. We're proud to grow our partnerships with the most innovative media companies in the market," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement.
The new media rights packages is also much more valuable than previous deals for North America's most popular sports league. A person familiar with the agreements, who asked not to be identified because the value of the deal has not been publicly released, told NPR the cumulative value of the deals is $113 billion over 11 years. That's an 80% increase.
In a first for the league, Amazon acquired an all-digital rights package that will make it the exclusive home of Thursday Night Football. The tech giant is paying $1.2 billion per year for the rights, according to the source.
Amazon has aired NFL games on its Prime Video streaming service since 2017 as part of a tri-cast distribution deal. But starting in 2023, fans will need to sign up for a Prime membership if they want to watch the games.
CBS retained its rights to air American Football Conference (AFC) games on Sunday afternoons. All games will be broadcast on CBS and streamed live on the company's digital platform Paramount+.
ESPN held on to its Monday Night Football rights package, while ABC acquired the rights to televise two Super Bowls along with exclusive regular season games.
Streaming service ESPN+ will be able to simulcast all ESPN and ABC games. Subscribers of the service will also be treated to one International Series game each season.
Fox retained its National Football Conference (NFC) rights package of Sunday afternoon games and expanded its digital rights, including for its Tubi streaming platform.
NBC will remain the broadcast home of Sunday Night Football. All SNF games will also be available on steaming service Peacock.
ViacomCBS, Fox and Comcast, the owner of NBC, will pay more than $2 billion annually for their packages, while Disney, which owns ESPN and ABC, is paying about $2.7 billion for its rights, according to CNBC.
CBS, Fox and NBC each will televise three Super Bowls over the upcoming rights period.
In addition, the NFL Network, which is owned by the league, will continue to air a select schedule of exclusive games on a yearly basis, the statement said.
The NFL regularly draws some of the largest TV audiences.
Over the last five years, 24 of the top 25 and 77 of the top 100 most-watched programs on television have been NFL games, according to the league.
However, this year's Super Bowl between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers failed to break 100 million viewers. With 96.4 million viewers, it was the lowest-watched Super Bowl since 2007.
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