Netflix Scores NFL Rights: A New Era Begins this Christmas

Hey, football fans! If you thought you had enough options to watch NFL games, think again. In addition to CBS, NBC, Fox, ABC, ESPN, ESPN Plus, Peacock, Amazon Prime Video, NFL Network, and YouTube TV, Netflix is now joining the fray. The streaming giant has inked a three-year deal with the NFL, bringing exclusive Christmas Day games to its platform.

Starting this season on December 25, 2024, Netflix will air its first-ever live NFL games. This Christmas, you can catch the Chiefs facing off against the Steelers and the Ravens taking on the Texans. The exact game times will be revealed during the NFL’s live schedule release event tonight. For the next two years, Netflix will continue to broadcast “at least one” game each Christmas. While the financial details of the deal remain under wraps, the impact is clear: Netflix is making a significant play for sports content.

In an era where traditional TV viewership is splintering, the NFL remains a powerhouse. Last year, 93 of the top 100 highest-rated US TV broadcasts were NFL games. This makes landing exclusive NFL content a strategic move for Netflix, aiming to attract and retain subscribers. NBC’s exclusive Peacock playoff game drew 23 million viewers, setting records as the most streamed event in US history. Interestingly, 71 percent of users who signed up for Peacock to watch the NFL game stayed on the platform seven weeks later.

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Netflix has already been exploring NFL-related content with reality-style documentaries like “Quarterback” and the upcoming “Receiver,” featuring current NFL players. However, this new deal marks the first time Netflix will broadcast live football games. With NFL Sunday Ticket now on YouTube TV and Thursday Night Football on Amazon Prime, the NFL is embracing streaming platforms more than ever. The future could bring even more drastic changes: in 2029, the NFL has the option to terminate all its TV deals simultaneously, potentially sparking a massive bidding war among TV and streaming services.

Impact on the Marketing World

This shift of NFL games to Netflix is set to have a significant impact on the marketing landscape. As more viewers migrate to streaming platforms, advertising dollars are following suit. Over the past four years, there’s been a massive shift in advertising spend from traditional TV to streaming services. Brands looking to capture the attention of NFL fans will need to adjust their strategies, investing more in digital and streaming ads. This move by Netflix underscores the growing importance of streaming platforms in the sports broadcasting arena and signals a new direction for sports marketing.

By Tyler Whitlow