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State of the Screens

NFL Pushes Massive TV Deal Over The Goal Line

By March 25, 2021No Comments

NFL Players Mid FieldBig news: The NFL agreed to a massive 11-year media deal worth $110B!

Key details for new NFL media rights deal:
1) Begins in 2023 and runs through 2033
2) ≈ $10B per year

Future NFL media rights by network according to Variety:
1) ESPN – $2.7B
2) Fox – $2.3B
3) NBC – $2.2B
4) CBS – $2.1B
5) Amazon – $1.0B
6) Total – $10.3B

Comparing Current & Future NFL U.S. Broacasting Rights Chart

As Entertainment Strategy Guy points out, this seems less aggressive when applying the compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6% per year vs. total growth of 80%.

Why this matters: Despite a 7% YoY drop in viewership, the NFL brand is strong as ever.

NFL average regular season viewership (YoY change) according to Sports Business Journal:
1) 2010 – 17.9M
2) 2011 – 17.5M (↓ 2%)
3) 2012 – 16.6M (↓ 5%)
4) 2013 – 17.4M (↑ 5%)
5) 2014 – 17.6M (↑ 1%)
6) 2015 – 18.1M (↑ 3%)
7) 2016 – 16.5M (↓ 9%)
8) 2017 – 15.0M (↓ 9%)
9) 2018 – 15.8M (↑ 5%)
10) 2019 – 16.5M (↑ 5%)
11) 2020 – 15.4M (↓ 7%)

Big question #1: Why did networks agree to such a large deal if viewership is down?

Quick answer: The NFL has never been more important to network television.

Share of overall viewing time watching NFL in 2020 according to Nielsen:
1) Fox – 52%
2) ESPN – 20%
3) CBS – 13%
4) NBC – 11%

NFL share of top 20 shows on television according to Nielsen:
1) 2000 – 3
2) 2010 – 7
3) 2020 – 12

Quote from Sean McManus – Chairman @ CBS Sports:

“I would say that the NFL is really the number one driver on retrans and reverse comp and cable sub fees. In many ways, it’s helping to hold together the traditional TV bundle.

Big question #2: What does this mean for streaming?

Quick answer: The networks will have the rights to stream every game on their platforms (Tubi, etc.), but it is unclear if they will initially hold back streaming access to protect the traditional bundle.

Streaming only: At least 16 out of 256 (6%) regular-season games will be streaming only.

The future NFL Super Bowl rotation:
1) 2023 – CBS
2) 2024 – Fox
3) 2025 – NBC
4) 2026 – ESPN/ABC
5) 2027 – CBS
6) 2028 – Fox
7) 2029 – NBC
8) 2030 – ESPN/ABC
9) 2031 – CBS
10) 2032 – Fox
11) 2033 – NBC

Video #1: NFL chief media officer on Amazon’s Thursday Night Football deal

Video #2: SBJ Unpacks NFL Media Rights Deal

More: NFL TV rights: 19 insights on Amazon, ESPN, Fox, CBS and NBC’s new deals

Michael Beach

Michael Beach

Michael Beach is the Chief Executive Officer of Cross Screen Media, a media analytics and software company that enables marketers to plan, activate, and measure CTV and linear TV at the local level. Michael is also the founder and editor of State of the Screens, a weekly newsletter focused on video advertising that is a must-read for thought leaders in the advertising industry. He has appeared in such publications as PBS Frontline, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Axios, CNBC and Bloomberg, and on NPR’s Planet Money podcast.

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