The NFL announced new broadcast rights deals Thursday that further confirm the league’s massive appeal even as the media landscape shifts toward streaming.
CBS, NBC, Fox, and ABC/ESPN will pay more than $110 billion on the 11-year agreement, which begins with the 2023 season.A 17-game season is expected to be in place in the fall.
The deal keeps the network alignment for games primarily the same, with CBS retaining the AFC Sunday afternoon package and Fox keeping the NFC. NBC will stay the home of “Sunday Night Football,’’ while ESPN/ABC will be back in the Super Bowl rotation for the first time since 2006.
“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.”
The most significant change, beyond vastly expanded digital rights for the networks, is the addition of Amazon Prime as the main home for “Thursday Night Football.”
The total value of the rights deal essentially doubled over the previous deal. Per Sports Business Daily, Fox will pay $2.25 billion per year for its package, CBS $2.1 billion, NBC $2 billion, and Amazon more than $1 billion for 15 Thursday night games beginning in 2022, with NFL Network carrying a limited schedule on that weeknight.
For local viewers, this means the vast majority of Patriots games will remain on CBS when they’re not in prime time.
“The NFL has been a cornerstone of CBS Sports programming for more than 60 years,’’ said Sean McManus, chairman of CBS Sports, in a statement.
“We are extremely pleased to extend our long-standing partnership with the NFL for the next decade. The NFL is the most valuable content in all of media, and we are excited that the deal allows for more Sunday afternoon games than ever before and we retain the NFL’s most-watched time slot [the 4:25 p.m. window].”
ESPN/ABC’s portion of the deal, which was confirmed last week, will cost $2.7 billion per year. ABC gained rights to air three “Monday Night Football” games per year, as part of a doubleheader with ESPN. The league has also expanded its ability to flex games to “Monday Night Football” and NBC’s “Sunday’s Night Football.”
ABC will join the Super Bowl rotation in 2026. CBS, Fox, and NBC will each televise three Super Bowls as part of the new deal, while ABC gets two.
All of the networks gained rights to stream games on their individual services. CBS will stream regional games on Paramount+ and Fox on Tubi. NBC’s The Peacock streaming service will have an exclusive feed for an undetermined number of games. ESPN is permitted to simulcast on ESPN+.