By: Nick Gambino
The NFL has just signed on the dotted line for a new media rights deal worth $100 billion over the next 12 years.
Most of the rights agreement sees the NFL sticking with all of the same media partners with one exception. They are adding Amazon (Prime Video to be exact) and giving them exclusive broadcast rights to Thursday night games. This is historical in that it’s the first time a streamer has had those kinds of exclusive rights to a full package of games on a specific night.
“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,” Senior VP of Prime Video and Amazon Studios, Mike Hopkins, said in a press release.
Amazon, being the behemoth that they are, is paying somewhere around $1 billion a year for those rights. This part of the deal with the retail giant will run from 2023 and will sunset in 2033.
The other media partners, which essentially make up all the network broadcasters, Comcast (NBCUniversal), Disney (ABC and ESPN), Fox and ViacomCBS are all getting an 11-year deal with each paying over $2 billion a year. Disney will pay out a bit more than the others (around $2.7 billion), probably because they are broadcasting across two channels – ABC and ESPN. Supposedly, they’ll also be allowed to air those same games on their streamer ESPN+.
Other streamers like Paramount+ (CBS) and Peacock (NBCUniversal) will also get the chance to stream games through those new services.
Valued at over $100 billion, this is the richest or most expensive media deal in sports. It’s a far cry from the last deal. For comparison, NBCUniversal is paying $2 billion per year in the new agreement whereas last time they were only on the hook for $1.1 billion.
This carves the next 12 years or so in stone as far as where NFL games will air and stream. We’ll be back in 2023 to report on the newest deal. By then, we’ll probably be playing half the games on Mars. Red Bowl 2023 exclusively on Disney Amazon Ultra+.