Having already cut a renewal deal with Disney’s ESPN, the National Football League has now cut early renewal deals with CBS, Fox and NBC. The nine-year NFL broadcast rights extensions will keep the leagues games in place on the current networks through the 2022 season.
Sports Business Daily had reported earlier this month that the NFL was seeking fee increases of more than 60%. Initial reports Wednesday put the annual bill for each of the three networks at more than $1 billion. Each of the three networks will get to air the Super Bowl three times over the course of the nine-year contracts.
The main change this time around is that the new deals will increase the number of Thursday night games to air on the league’s own NFL Network.
“These agreements underscore the NFL’s unique commitment to broadcast television that no other sport has. The agreements would not have been possible without our new 10-year labor agreement and the players deserve great credit. Long-term labor peace is allowing the NFL to continue to grow and the biggest beneficiaries are the players and fans,” said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.
“This is a great day for NBCUniversal and the NBC Sports Group. There is no more powerful programming on television than the NFL and no better program than Sunday Night Football. The long-term agreement announced today provides us with significant enhancements to our existing NFL package, ensures that we will continue our partnership with the NFL for many years, and adds tremendous value to the many assets of NBCUniversal. We could not be more pleased,” said Steve Burke, CEO, NBCUniversal.
NBCU cited these enhancements under its new contract:
-NBC will annually broadcast a primetime game on Thanksgiving night beginning in 2012;
-Upgraded playoff coverage, exchanging one of its current Wild Card games for a Divisional playoff game;
-In addition to the 2012 Super Bowl, NBC will broadcast the 2015, 2018 and 2021 Super Bowls;
-Enhanced flexible scheduling;
-Expanded digital rights, including “TV Everywhere” rights;
-Spanish language rights so that games could be shown on Telemundo, mun2 or with an SAP feed.
Beginning in 2014 NBC will broadcast 19 regular season games including 17 regular season Sunday Night Football games, each season’s opening NFL Kickoff Thursday night primetime game and the new Thanksgiving night game, and two playoff games (one Wild Card game and one Divisional game). NBC’s original Sunday Night Football agreement, which began in 2006, included 17 regular season games. It was increased to 18 in 2010.
“The National Football League is the greatest television property in the world and we are thrilled that it remains the cornerstone of Fox Sports and the Fox Network well into the next decade. Everyone at Fox Sports looks forward to presenting the NFL, television’s ultimate reality programming, providing our viewers with the finest pregame, game and postgame coverage possible for many years to come,” said David Hill, Chairman, Fox Sports Media Group.
The Fox announcement noted that the new agreement also includes fully authenticated “TV everywhere” rights, which enables Fox Sports to offer games it broadcasts and other NFL on Fox-related content on FOXSports.com, tablets and other digital platforms, excluding mobile phones.
“The NFL provides terrific, exciting programming to our viewers week-in and week-out,” said CBS Corporation President and CEO Moonves. “No other franchise delivers ratings the way an NFL game does. The League has proven time and again that it understands the importance of a healthy broadcast partner, and this historic new agreement strengthens that partnership. In addition, the deal continues CBS’s ability to be profitable with the NFL throughout the coming decade and beyond.”