NFL Adds Streamer Netflix to Their Broadcast Package With the Exclusive Rights To a Christmas Doubleheader This Season

0
1201

Netflix is offering an early Christmas present that won’t fit under the tree. On December 25, 2024, Netflix will become the global home for the NFL’s two Christmas Day headline games: the Super Bowl LVII champions Chiefs vs. Steelers, and Ravens vs. Texans. Remember to mark your calendars for Christmas Day in 2025 and 2026, as we will stream at least one holiday game each year under this three-season agreement.

Questions remain regarding Netflix’s deal to stream an NFL doubleheader on Christmas Day, as well as at least one holiday game in 2025 and 2026. The cost of the agreement has not been disclosed, but estimates suggest Netflix will pay the NFL somewhere between $50 million and $100 million per game.

The streaming behemoth has joined forces with Prime Video, Peacock, Paramount+, and YouTube as partners with the NFL. The agreement spans three years, although the financial terms of the package remain undisclosed. The NFL’s current cycle of media-rights deals, signed in 2021, runs from the ’23 season through the ’33 season.

The league may be poised for an even larger financial windfall since, as ProFootballTalk reported, the NFL has the option to terminate all of its deals after seven years. This implies that the NFL could put all its TV/streaming rights back on the market after the 2030 season.

Netflix has collaborated with the NFL for several years, starting with the successful series ‘Quarterback’ in 2023. The upcoming series ‘Receiver,’ premiering this summer on Netflix, will feature five of the NFL’s top pass catchers during their 2023 season, both on and off the field: Davante Adams of the Raiders, Justin Jefferson of the Vikings, George Kittle and Deebo Samuel of the 49ers, and Amon-Ra St. Brown of the Lions.

“Last year, we decided to take a big bet on live — tapping into massive fandoms across comedy, reality TV, sports, and more,” says Netflix Chief Content Officer, Bela Bajaria. “There are no live annual events, sports or otherwise, that compare with the audiences NFL football attracts. We’re so excited that the NFL’s Christmas Day games will be only on Netflix.”

“We couldn’t be more excited to be the first professional sports league to partner with Netflix to bring live games to fans around the world,” says Hans Schroeder, NFL Executive Vice President of Media Distribution. “The NFL on Christmas has become a tradition and to partner with Netflix, a service whose biggest day of the year is typically this holiday, is the perfect combination to grow this event globally for NFL fans.”

The NFL initiated Yuletide games in 1971 and reintroduced them semi-regularly starting in 1989. Since 2020, these games have become a holiday fixture, with the previous year’s three Christmas games ranking among the top 25 most-watched TV programs of 2023. Notably, the Raiders vs. Chiefs game, attended by Taylor Swift and Santa Claus, achieved the highest Christmas Day viewership since 1988. The NFL has hosted 30 Christmas games to date. Continuing its holiday tradition, the Netflix Christmas Day games will be broadcast on TV in the cities of the competing teams and available on US mobile devices via NFL+. Additionally, the league has announced its full schedule for the 2024-2025 season.

Jim Williams has been covering sports media and the business side of sports for nearly 45 years. He was a featured columnist for the Washington and San Francisco Examiner Newspapers for ten years and has contributed regularly to Sports Business Journal, Forbes, Playboy, and Newsweek.

Comments