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The National Football League has reached broad new agreements with its television partners, including The Walt Disney Co., NBCUniversal, Fox Corp., ViacomCBS and Amazon. The new deals will begin with the 2023 NFL season, and run through the 2033 season.
There are a few big changes to the new rights agreement: ABC will be added to the Super Bowl rotation, and Thursday Night Football rights will be exclusive to Amazon. The Thursday games had previously also been airing on Fox.
Otherwise, CBS and Fox will keep their flagship Sunday afternoon football games, and NBC will remain the home of Sunday Night Football, with ESPN holding on to Monday Night Football.
Under the new deal, ABC will get two Super Bowls: 2026 and 2030. In addition, ESPN+ will get exclusive U.S. rights to one international series game per season.
The NFL last inked deals for the Sunday and Monday games with Disney, NBC, Fox and CBS in 2011, in deals valued at about $27 billion. The new agreement is significantly more lucrative for the league, bringing in more than $100 billion for the league over its 11-year term.
“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. “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.”
NFL games are consistently the most popular and most watched programming on television, making the renewals a top priority for the media and entertainment giants, which are looking to the league to keep the traditional TV ecosystem alive, while at the same time allowing them to expand into streaming video.
The deal with Amazon is significant as it will be the first time that a tech company has secured the primary TV rights to a slate of NFL games. Amazon has for the past four years had nonexclusive streaming rights to the Thursday games, which it most recently shared with Fox and NFL Network. The new deal ups the number of games to 15 from 11.
“NFL games are the most watched live programming in the United States, and this unprecedented Thursday Night Football package gives tens of millions of new and existing Prime members exclusive access to must-watch live football on Prime Video,” said Mike Hopkins, senior vp of Prime Video and Amazon Studios, in a statement. “NFL fans from across the country will enjoy a premium viewing experience with Thursday Night Football, as well as access to a broad selection of content including award-winning Amazon Originals available on Prime Video.”
The deal includes streaming rights for all of the league’s TV partners and will also include an expansion of interactive and alternate presentations, such as this year’s NFL Wild Card game, which included a family-focused simulcast on Nickelodeon in addition to its main feed on CBS.
“Today’s groundbreaking deal ensures that more big games will be available on CBS and Paramount+, with greater NFL programming opportunities featured across all ViacomCBS platforms including Pluto TV, vastly expanding the NFL’s reach among younger audiences in a rapidly evolving media landscape,” said ViacomCBS CEO Bob Bakish in a statement. “NFL football is both a pillar of CBS Sports and huge differentiator for our streaming strategy, and our extensive partnership with the NFL will be fundamental to further driving growth and engagement on Paramount+ for years to come.”
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