The NFL has a new media deal starting in 2023, worth $110 billion, that will bring some changes and some new options to the way we consume our national football obsession. With a new media deal comes new money, which will make the talent department of your favorite franchises happy – more money means an increase in cap space. Looking through the press release, here’s what you need to know.
The new media agreement will begin with the 2023 season and will run through the 2033 season. Included in the media agreement are partnerships with Amazon, CBS, ESPN/ABC, FOX, and NBC.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell seems quite happy with the new deal. “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. 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.”
In the new deal, the NFL has reached it’s first all-digital package with Amazon, which will be the exclusive home of Thursday Night Football. That’s right – Thursday Night Football will only be available on Amazon Prime Video. In the past, the NFL has been working with Amazon, streaming the Thursday games on Amazon while also airing them on NFL Network and FOX. The only caveat to that – Thursday Night Football and Monday Night Football games are required by contract to be carried on over-the-air broadcast stations in the cities of the participating teams.
Also noteworthy, ESPN/ABC seems to be identifying that they need to make some changes to remain the “worldwide leader,” and will continue to host Monday Night Football, but will now also be granted the rights to two Super Bowls in the next decade. Not only that, but ESPN/ABC will now have the right to flex Monday Night Football games, meaning we won’t be stuck with absolute trash games on a Monday night in December when a playoff-determining game is happening untelevised on Sunday afternoon.
There are other details that won’t be changing what we’ve already been accustomed to – CBS will still have the AFC Sunday afternoon games, and FOX will still have the NFC. With innovation in mind, however, the media release from NFL Communications says:
“The NFL’s media partners will now have greater ability to innovate around their productions and provide interactive elements such as stats/date, chat and integrated social feeds as part of their digital presentations. Additionally, there will be alternate presentations of select NFL games in addition to each partner’s main production, similar to the one’s fans viewed during the 2020 postseason with ESPN’s MegaCast and CBS Sports’ presentation on Nickelodeon.”
Watching how the different media outlets will continue to expand the use of statistics, analytics, sports betting, and fantasy football information will be a hallmark of this new agreement with the NFL. These factors are becoming increasingly popular with football viewership, and should be treated as integral elements to the viewing process.