Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

NFL closing in on new media deals for games, per report

Mar 2, 2021 at 3:50 PM--

The Sports Business Journal is reporting that the NFL is getting close to finalizing its new media deals for the rights to broadcast or stream future games. Things could cross the finish line as early as this week and then be announced next week—possibly earlier.

It sounds like Fox will retain the rights to NFC games on Sundays, but there has reportedly been some pushback from the network on the asking price—over $2.2 billion per year for 11 years—which doubles that of the previous deal.

As reported earlier, Amazon Prime Video looks poised to secure the exclusive rights to simulcast Thursday Night Football on its streaming platform, taking those games away from Fox.

"The NFL has viewed Thursday night as an experimental package, where it has tested various formats and distributors, so it seems likely that the deal length will be shorter than the linear deals," wrote John Ourand.

Ourand adds that the CBS and NBC 11-year deals are "virtually done." The former will retain its Sunday slate of earlier games, while the latter will keep Sunday night games. Each is expected to pay about $2 billion per year for the rights. Their streaming platforms will be allowed to simulcast their respective games.

All of this comes after the Sports Business Journal's earlier report that Disney and the NFL had reached an agreement to renew Monday Night Football, include simulcasts, and return ABC to the Super Bowl rotation of broadcast networks in the coming years at the cost of about $2.6 billion per year.

The doubling of revenue from the new media deals will be good news for future salary caps, which will see a drop from $198.2 million per team in 2020 to as low as $180 million in 2021 due to the impact of the ongoing pandemic. Despite the challenges over the past year, the NFL was able to get through the entire 2020 season without canceling any of its scheduled regular-season or playoff games and had only a handful of postponements.

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