The NFL announced media rights deals from 2023-2033 with US broadcasters Thursday that analysts say will bring the league more than $100 billion over 11 seasons.
The league announced long-term contracts without financial details with current TV broadcasters CBS, NBC, FOX and Disney-owned ESPN/ABC, and added Amazon Prime Video as an exclusive partner for the NFL’s Thursday night game package, a first for any streaming service.
The NFL expanded its digital footprint to a broader audience and, according to the Wall Street Journal and CNBC, reaped a hefty boost in fees from media partners as well while allowing broader digital platform access to games.
“These new media deals will provide our fans even greater access to the games they love,” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement.
“Along with our recently completed labor agreement with the NFLPA (players union), these distribution agreements bring an unprecedented era of stability to the league and will permit us to continue to grow and improve our game.”
The Wall Street Journal and CNBC said the 11-year deals are worth a combined total of more than $100 billion (84 billion euros), according to unnamed sources familiar with the deals.
The Journal said once source told it the NFL secured a combined average boost of 75-80 percent in fees from media partners.
CNBC reported Amazon is paying about $1 billion a year in the deal while CBS is paying $2.1 billion annually, NBC owners Comcast will pay about $2 billion, the lowest of the major networks but the largest increase over the prior deal.
Fox is projected by CNBC to pay more than $2 billion but will save $660 million by not renewing the Thursday night package.
Disney will pay about $2.7 billion a year, jumping from $2 billion in the current deal according to the Journal, but will carry 23 games per campaign instead of 17 in a season, according to CNBC, including a game from an international venue starting in 2022. ESPN would keep its Monday night package and ABC would air three Monday games as well as two Saturday games in the final week of the season.
It’s by far the richest media rights deal in US sport for games that typically draw some of the top ratings of all American sports programming, including Super Bowls, even though NFL game viewership fell 7 percent last season during the pandemic.
The NFL said that CBS would have Super Bowls in 2023, 2027 and 2031, Fox would show the championship spectacle in 2024, 2028 and 2032, NBC would televise the title contest in 2025, 2029 and 2033 and ABC would show the Super Bowl in 2026 and 2030.
Over the past five years, 24 of the top 25 most-watched US television programs and 77 of the top 100 have been NFL games, the league said.
The deal also allows for increased flex scheduling of Sunday night and Monday night games, the shifting of planned contests out of prime-time telecast slots in favor of contests that have greater impact in the late-season standings.