In 2020, the TV viewing audience for National Football League games dropped across the board. As a result, for its forthcoming televised contracts? (a) The rights fees will drop. (b) The rights fees will stay roughly the same. (c) The rights fees will rise a little. (d) The rights fees will rise a lot. The answer is (d). NFL video rights stream ahead.

Rather remarkable right? In what other business does your target market decline? While you raise prices going forward? Even the latest Super Bowl saw a drop in viewership.

 

The Story Behind the Story: NFL Video Rights Stream Ahead

 

Background

Not only will NFL rights fees rise. They will nearly double. Given the audience decline, why? As the number one video rights purveyor, the NFL remains in a strong position. Even with the drop, NFL games account for most of the largest audiences on television. Networks are so desperate to retain this programming that they will pay premium fees. Despite the number of entities that will divvy up the various rights.

As reported by Ken Belson and  for the New York Times, this is the bottom line:

The NFL signed new media rights agreements with CBS, NBC, Fox, ESPN and Amazon collectively worth about $110 billion over 11 years, nearly doubling the value of its previous contracts.

The contracts will take effect in 2023 and run through the 2033 season. And they will cement the NFL’s status as the country’s most lucrative sports league. They will also set the stage for the league’s owners to make good on plans to expand the regular season to include a 17th game and charge more for broadcasting rights.

 

What’s the Story

According to Advertising Age:

The NFL announced a new series of long-term, multibillion-dollar TV deals, including a historic contract giving Amazon.com Inc. exclusive rights to Thursday football broadcasts, a first for a streaming company. Under the accord, CBS and Fox will continue to carry daytime games on Sundays and gain expanded digital rights. NBC will retain its rights to Sunday-evening telecasts, including streaming. And ESPN will keep “Monday Night Football,” with rights to simulcast games on ABC and online as well. The agreements will begin with the 2023 season and run through the 2033 season.

Because an online company grabbed exclusive rights, this brings the potential for innovative coverage to the staid world of sports. Also, ABC will air Super Bowls in 2026 and 2030, marking the first time the network has had the Big Game since 2006.

Amazon is getting ready!!!

NFL Video Rights Stream Ahead
 

Other Factoids About the New Deal

For a few other interesting factoids, we turn to John Breech, writing for CBS Sports:

Nickelodeon games likely come back. The Nickelodeon game was a hit in January. And there will likely be a few more of those down the road. In the new contract, the NFL gives network partners a greater ability to innovate around their productions and provide interactive elements. This involves ViacomCBS.

One international game will air exclusively on ESPN+. ESPN’s new streaming service ESPN+ will get to exclusively carry one international game per season, which means you’ll have to have ESPN+ if you want to watch this game. 

NBC’s Peacock streaming network will get to exclusively air six regular-season games. From 2023 thru 2028, the NFL will allowing NBC’s Peacock service to exclusively stream one game per season. 

Paramount+ also comes up big. It gets new and expanded rights for streaming. Thus, allowing for the flexibility to distribute NFL games on the premium tier at $9.99 and the new $4.99 ad-supported tier that will debut in June 2021.

 

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