This past week the NFL broadcast networks CBS, FOX and NBC signed brand new long term deals with the league worth in the range of a staggering $24 billion dollars. The new deals run from 2014 through 2024 and there are some very interesting things inside the numbers.
Each of the networks gets three Super Bowls from 2014-2022. Under the new set-up, NFL Network, in what can be seen as a vote of confidence by NFL owners, will add more games to what has been an eight-game primetime series.
Don’t rule out the chance that the NFL could offer that Thursday Night package to Turner Sports or NBC Sports Network as part of a new cable deal down the line.
Under the extensions, CBS and Fox will principally retain the rights to AFC and NFC games as they do now but they now have the right to changes relative to flexible scheduling.
Comcast-owned NBC will continue to air the ratings monster Sunday Night Football, and starting next season they will by taking over the Thanksgiving night game, that was on the NFL Network. In addition to raising its regular-season count to 19 games, NBC gets a big boost upgrading its playoff coverage, trading one of its Wild Card contests for a Divisional playoff game. That switch will open the door to ESPN scoring a playoff contest, which was part of its new deal with the league and that begins in 2014.
NBC, who will carry this year’s Super Bowl Game on February 6, 2012 will air the game again in 2015, 2018, 2021 as part of the new deal.
The package also provides for enhanced flexible scheduling, more digital access, including "TV Everywhere" rights. Moreover, NBCUniversal has tackled Spanish-language game rights for Telemundo, mun2 or an SAP feed.
NBC Sports Network will get into the morning pregame show business starting in 2014, joining ESPN, the NFL Network on cable and FOX and CBS on the broadcast side.
For its part, Fox not only remains the network home of the NFC regular-season package, but it now adds postseason rights to Wild Card games, in addition to the Divisional Playoff contests, the NFC Championship Game and Super Bowls it has been airing. This time around, Fox will televise Super Bowls LI, LIV & LVII.
Flexible scheduling, which the NFL initiated to ensure quality matchups in all Sunday time slots and as it relates to Fox, gives NFC teams a chance to play their way into the late-afternoon 4:15 PM ET window, expands in 2014. Included in the changes is a limited ability for the NFL to move games between Fox and CBS that would bring regional games to wider audiences.
FOX’s pact also includes fully authenticated "TV everywhere" rights, enabling it to present NFL on Fox-related content on tablets and other digital platforms, excluding mobile phones, Verizon holds those right at this time.
The NFL will soon make a decision if they will allow their network partners to stream the games live via broadband something all three are pushing for,
CBS will be the home of the AFC but they will also broadcast games from the NFC, marking the first time the network will broadcast matchups from both conferences in the same season. Those details are being worked out.
CBS will broadcast Super Bowl L in 2016, Super Bowl LIII in 2019 and Super Bowl LVI in 2022, in addition to Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans in 2013.