The NFL will put more football on streaming platforms than ever before with a new slew of rights deals for 11 seasons starting in 2023. These include its first streaming-exclusive rights deal ever, with Amazon.
Here’s a breakdown of the deals:
The NFL minting an 11-year deal at such a transitional time in media reads like an attempt to prolong the dominance of linear TV. NFL programming, including the Super Bowl, is still a powerhouse for networks and advertisers, but it seems hard to believe that streaming platforms won’t have caught up to traditional TV a decade from now, particularly as cord-cutting continues apace. (We estimate that the number of US cord-cutters will increase by 15.8% this year to 73.4 million.) Sports rights deals tend to be long-term—ranging anywhere from six to 11 years—but in a time of rapid change and increasing interest in sports streaming, these deals do seem like an attempt to keep TV networks relevant for the next decade and beyond.
The availability of these games could potentially help streaming services in their quest for more ad dollars. Sports content consistently brings in viewership from loyal fans, and platforms like Peacock have already declared their intent to charge linear TV-level pricing for streaming slots. Additionally, as audience demand grows, media companies will no doubt push to enhance the streaming elements of their deals—whether it’s through exclusivity, social media integration, or access to additional streaming content—which could potentially justify higher ad prices.