Understanding the NFL TV rights deals around the world
The NFL is one of the most lucrative leagues not just in the US but across the world. In 2021, the 32 teams in the league generated a revenue of $18 billion. This, compared to the Premier League teams who generated revenue of £6 billion.
A big reason for the NFL’s eyewatering revenue is that the game is an advertiser’s dream. With 16 commercial breaks in any given game and the games often being the most watched cable telecast each week, it is prime real estate for brands. The Super Bowl is uniformly the most viewed telecast ever year, surpassing 100 million viewers at times, which is why a 30-second commercial sport will set you back an incredible $7 million. That number is likely to rise in the near future, maybe even for next year’s game in which NFL odds have the Kansas City Chiefs as favorites to lift the Vince Lombardi trophy once again.
Of course, the viewership itself is also a huge reason as in turn it allows the league to demand higher prices for viewing rights. Historically, the NFL has the most expensive sports broadcasting rights in the world and is continuing to sign more financially lucrative deals with streaming services. These deals are made to allow the NFL to be broadcast all over the world from the US to Europe to Asia Let’s start right at home in the States.
The NFL has seven active broadcasting partners here in the US: Prime Video, CBS, Fox, NBC, ESPN/ABC, Youtube TV, and the NFL Network. All of these partnerships with the exception of Youtube will run until 2033 and all together will net the league a whopping $13.3 billion per season.
The most lucrative of these deals is with ESPN/ABC. The partners will pay roughly $2.7 billion to the NFL annually for the rights to broadcast games. ESPN and ABC are the exclusive homes of Monday Night Football and their telecasts are almost always the most viewed on a Monday night.
Youtube is the most recent media giant to acquire the rights and the streaming platform will now take over the “Sunday Ticket” package of games. This 11-year deal is worth a jaw-dropping $113 billion. Amazon is another streaming service to have dived into sports broadcasting recently, now becoming the home of Thursday Night Football. This is all great news for football fans as streaming services cost significantly less than a cable TV package.
Broadcasters in the United States have been loosening the purse strings for the rights to show the NFL on their network for years now with the lowest annual fee being paid to the NFL sitting at $1 billion.
In recent years, however, the league has begun to gain more traction outside of its home country. The NFL recently agreed to a 10-year deal with international sports network DAZN to broadcast games all over the world. This allows fans to add the NFL game pass to their DAZN streaming package and offers access to every single game throughout the season including the Super Bowl, with no interruptions. Whilst no fee was announced, an insider speaking to Forbes indicated that the deal was worth around $1 billion.
Fans in the UK are still able to watch the league on Sky Sports until 2025, with it being the home of the NFL across the pond for over two decades. In fact, the launch of Sky’s ‘Sky Sports NFL’ channel in 2020 was the first time the league had ever joined with an international broadcaster to launch a channel solely dedicated to the league. This has been great for fans as Sky’s subscriptions allow for subscribers to pick exactly which sports channels they would like. With these being split between their respective sports, customers are able to watch round-the-clock NFL programming all day, every day.
In China, tech giant Tencent has exclusive streaming rights to all regular-season and playoff games. For just $40, Chinese fans can watch any game for all 18 game weeks and beyond. Asia and specifically China is a very appealing market for the NFL and NFL China general manager Richard Young has spoken of the country’s burgeoning relationship with the sport. The NFL is the most lucrative league in the world and when breaking down their TV rights deals it is clear to see why.
Before a play has even been made the league has already made tens of billions in broadcasting money every season and will continue to until at least 2033. Of course, those deals coming up does not mean they will stop making money. In fact, all it means is that the rights will be back on the market, ready to be sold to the highest bidder, and further eclipse the value of the deals in the years prior.
Alexia is the author at Research Snipers covering all technology news including Google, Apple, Android, Xiaomi, Huawei, Samsung News, and More.