The NFL finished negotiations that give the league a $110 billion TV deal across multiple networks. It also represents the largest distribution agreement in all of American sports.
The deal is with Fox, ESPN/ABC, CBS and NBC, as well as Amazon and NFL Network through the 2033 season.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell touted the agreement. In a statement to the media, Goodell said:
“We’re proud to grow our partnerships with the most innovative media companies in the market. Along with our recently completed labor agreement with the NFLPA, these distribution agreements bring an unprecedented era of stability to the League and will permit us to continue to grow and improve our game.”
Here are some of the highlights of the NFL deal:
NFL Thursday Night Games Move to Amazon
Some things stay as is. The Sunday afternoon games stay on CBS and Fox. The Sunday night games remain on NBC. Monday Night Football still is on ESPN, although some of the contests will go to ABC as part of double headers.
The key change is with the distribution of the Thursday night games. Amazon reached an exclusive deal to air the Thursday games. Fans living in the home markets of the two teams playing each Thursday night can watch the game on an over-the-air channel. Otherwise, the action can be seen on the streaming network. NFL Network will also air select Thursday games.
ESPN Adds Six Games, Primarily As Part Of MNF Double-headers
ESPN’s portion of the deal will allow the network to air an extra six games a season, plus a divisional playoff. There will be three double-headers for the Monday night games. The second game of the double-headers go to ABC.
There also will be a Saturday double-header during the final week of the season. And one Sunday game will have a morning kickoff and stream via ESPN+. This probably will be an international game. All the other networks in the NFL agreement will have the option to stream games.
The agreement with the NFL also gives ESPN some flexibility with scheduling for the Monday night games. In previous years, the Monday schedule was set before the season. What looked good on paper in August didn’t end up being a terrific matchup by December. But the NFL will allow ESPN to switch up games, starting with week 12, to feature more national-audience-friendly matchups.
Sports Business Journal reported the deal will generate $110 billion in revenue for the NFL.