Announced on Thursday afternoon by the National Football League, a new multibillion-dollar media rights deal keeps the most popular program on TV on America’s top four networks through the end of the 2033 season and also gives Amazon Prime a hearty slice of the proverbial ratings pie.
Though the NFL did not release financial figures, CBS, Fox, NBC and ABC/ESPN (which are both owned by Disney) paid a grand total of approximately $90 billion to keep carrying NFL games. That figure is more than double the $43.1 billion the Big Four will have collectively paid by the time their current deals with the league expire, according to Sportico. When you factor in the $15 billion or so Amazon is paying to make Prime the new exclusive home of Thursday Night Football, the cost of carrying NFL games from 2023-2033 works out to around $105 billion.
If that price seems exorbitant, consider that 24 of the top 25 and 77 of the top 100 most-watched programs on television have been NFL games over the last five years.
Starting with the 2023 season, ABC will be added to the Super Bowl rotation and will carry the game twice during the duration of the deal (2026, 2030). The remaining nine games will be divided between CBS (2023, 2027, 2031), Fox (2024, 2028, 2032) and NBC (2025, 2029, 2033).
Here’s how the rest of the deal breaks down for each of the networks and Amazon.
CBS: AFC coverage of Sunday afternoon games will remain on the network as well as simulcast on the Paramount+ streaming service.
Fox: NFC coverage of Sunday afternoon games will remain on the network and Fox also now has the right to deliver NFL content on digital platforms including its AVOD streaming platform Tubi.
NBC: Sunday Night Football will remain on NBC and the network will also simulcast games on Peacock. A select number of games will also air exclusively on Peacock during the agreement.
ESPN: Monday Night Football will remain on ESPN and the network will now be able to simulcast all ABC and ESPN games on ESPN+. Also, ESPN+ subscribers will be able to stream one International Series game on an exclusive national basis each season.
Amazon: Prime Video will become the exclusive home of Thursday Night Football starting in the first year of the agreement.
NFL Network: The league’s TV home will continue to air a select schedule of exclusive games.
Though it is unclear how it will work, there will be an increased ability to flex games to Sunday Night Football and Monday Night Football as part of the new agreement, according to the NFL.
“These new media deals will provide our fans even greater access to the games they love. We’re proud to grow our partnerships with the most innovative media companies in the market,” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement. “Along with our recently completed labor agreement with the NFLPA, these distribution agreements bring an unprecedented era of stability to the League and will permit us to continue to grow and improve our game.”