The NFL on Thursday formally announced new TV rights agreements with all major partners through the foreseeable future. The deals, which have largely been reported before, will begin in 2023 and run through 2023 and pay the NFL a collective $10 billion per year.
With the collective bargaining agreement also set, the NFL's major business functions are now set for the next dozen years.
"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," Roger Goodell said. "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."
For viewers, changes to the schedule will be minimal:
Thursday nights: This is the biggest change. Amazon will pay more than $1 billion per year for "exclusive" rights to Thursday night games. We put "exclusive" in quotes because the games will still air on over-the-air networks for the in-market teams, but the majority of Thursday night games will air solely on Amazon Prime for national audiences.
Amazon's quote explains why the platform bought into the NFL rights-holder club:
"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. 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."
Sunday afternoons: CBS keeps the AFC and Fox keeps the NFC, at increased price tags. CBS will pay a reported $2.1 billion per year, while Fox will pay $2.25 billion.
Sunday nights: NBC will keep Sunday Night Football, which has been the most-watched show on television for a decade straight now. NBC will pay "around" $2 billion per year for the top game each week, according to Sports Business Journal.
Monday nights: After much hemming and hawing, ESPN will remain the home of Monday Night Football. The league wanted ESPN, which already paid more than any other network, to double its right fees; the Worldwide Leader will pay a reported $2.7 billion per year, which is at once the most of any network but also the smallest increase among the networks. As part of the increase, ABC will join the Super Bowl rotation, bringing the Big Game to the network for the first time since 2006.
Games will air on each network's respective streaming platform as well: Paramount+ (CBS), Tubi (Fox), Peacock (NBC) and ESPN+.
Here is how the Super Bowl rotation will work for the next dozen years:
- CBS: 2023, 2027, 2031
- FOX: 2024, 2028, 2032
- NBC: 2025, 2029, 2033
- ESPN/ABC: 2026, 2030
To close its announcement, the NFL noted its broadcasts accounted for 24 of the top 25 and 77 of the top 100 TV events over the last five years.
A draw like that explains why God will soon start asking the NFL for money.