NFL announces new broadcast rights through 2033

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The NFL announced a slew of new broadcast television deals that includes ESPN, ABC, Fox, CBS, NBC, Amazon and the NFL Network.

The deals, announced March 19, 2021, includes:

  • Sunday afternoon games on CBS and Fox
  • Fox will no longer carry Thursday night games
  • Sunday evening games on NBC
  • Monday night games on ESPN, with some airing on ABC (Disney is the parent company of both networks)
  • Disney also negotiated rights to stream ABC and ESPN games on ESPN+
  • Amazon Prime Video will carry Thursday night games nationally, a first for the streaming division of the retail giant, while games will be available over the air on the competing teams’ home markets
  • The NFL Network will also air select games

The new contracts extended through 2033 and are estimated to be worth north of $100 billion, though the NFL did not confirm the total.

  • ViacomCBS, Fox and NBC owner Comcast will each fork over at least $2 billion per year, sources say
  • Disney will shell out around $2.7 billion per year for rights to carry games on ESPN and ABC, according to sources
  • ViacomCBS pays about $2.1 billion a year for its current deal
  • NBC reportedly pays around $1.1 billion, so its new contract calls for a significant increase

The contracts also lay out a new Super Bowl schedule:

  • ABC/ESPN: 2026 and 2030
  • CBS: 2023, 2027 and 2031
  • Fox: 2024, 2028 and 2032
  • NBC: 2025, 2029 and 2033 (its worth noting none of these years align with Olympics years; NBC has previously swapped years so that it could bundle ad sale deals for the Super Bowl with Olympics)

There are also some new nuances to the rights, especially with Disney, which has one more year on its current contract and was able to negotiate a “bridge” agreement for 2022.

  • ESPN will air six more games, including three Monday night doubleheaders that start on ESPN and the second game on ABC
  • The season’s final weekend will have a Saturday doubleheader
  • ESPN will also air one Sunday morning game on ESPN+
  • ESPN also picks up an additional game in the divisional round
  • ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” will also add a new feature — “flex” games that start after Week 11 of the season to help its games pontentially be more competitive and therefore more appealing to viewers; it can include four teams up to two times each in these games
  • ESPN also locked in the rights to the draft and Pro Bowl and will bring back NFL PrimeTime to ESPN+ on Sunday evenings and streaming the following week
  • For the 2021 season, ESPN will have two Saturday games in the final week of the season, with the arrangement continuing into 2022
  • A new international game will air on a Sunday morning on ESPN’s streamer as well
  • NBC, CBS and Fox also locked in streaming rights for their respective games and NBC also has options for “flex” games