NFL TV Rights: Who’s Going to Get Them?

It seems that several media companies are fighting over NFL TV rights. The NFL Players Association, along with the NFL owners, will come up with a bargaining agreement over the terms this Thursday. These media companies have been waiting for approval from CBA before they start negotiating broadcast rights for these NFL games.

Whatever the result is, this will surely have a huge effect on traditional media. This is because millions of US viewers have been cord-cutting on pay TV every year. It’s crucial for sports networks, such as ESPN, to get the rights to live football games. This way, they can charge expensive rates to their affiliates.

This is also the same for CBS and Fox. They use these rights to stay feasible against bigger players such as Comcast and Disney.

Increased Renewal Rates on Major Broadcast Packages

nfl broadcasting rights

The NFL is pretty much aware of this. This is why they are considering jacking up the renewal rates of the broadcast packages. They may increase the cost of Thursday night broadcast, as well as the Sunday and Monday night, and Sunday afternoon.

Below is a breakdown of what could happen:

• Amazon

Amazon might only renew the Thursday Night package for football, which they had for the last couple of years. The media company has so far been happy with this package. They have used it to entice customers from around the world to subscribe to Amazon Prime.

In addition, Amazon is considering renewing the Sunday Ticket. They believe this is an effective way to encourage people to subscribe to Prime, in the same way that Disney is considering to use the package to get people into ESPN Plus.

Amazon might be more interested in getting the smaller packages for the NFL TV rights, which may include exclusive games, such as the games in London and Mexico, juts in case NFL decides to make it available.

• Disney

Disney will operate from a stronger position, although this company might actually lose the most now that viewers are shifting to digital.

The media company’s huge balance sheet, and with a value of more than $300 billion, should allow the company not only to renew the Monday Night broadcast but to bid on another package. This means it will compete with the Sunday afternoon games of CBS or getting the rights to Sunday Tickets from ESPN Plus.

Bob Iger, the CEO of Disney, has already revealed in public that he’s keen on the Sunday Ticket. However, we don’t know yet if the NFL TV rights will try to negotiate the Sunday Ticket along with the other packages or if they have to wait later this year.

If indeed Disney will take Sunday Ticket from AT&T, it might use such a package to push subscriptions for ESPN Plus. Viewers will need to subscribe to ESPN Plus in order to gain access to games before they pay the charges for the annual package, which is at $300. However, AT&T finds the Sunday Ticket as a bit too expensive given the number of subscribers it brings.

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• Fox and ViacomCBS

Of all the media companies, the Viacom CBS and Fox are perhaps the most straightforward. Each has a capitalization of about $20 billion.

Both companies may be interested to renew their NFL TV rights for Sunday afternoon broadcast, which they already have. Since 1994, Fox has been holding the Sunday games and owns the rights of AFC from 1998.

Football is important for both companies. Fox has become dramatically smaller after it sold most of its assets to Disney in a deal worth $71 billion. This new company has put more focus on sports and news. It will certainly become crippled if they don’t get the NFL TV rights.

Meanwhile, ViacomCBS need all of the valuable content while it competes with its deep-pocketed competitors. Fox might also try to get the rights of the Thursday night game and is set to bid in order to keep the package.

Of these two companies, it’s ViacomCBS that’s more likely to lose the Sunday NFL package. In fact, it was predicted that the company might lose its package to either NBC or ABC. Nevertheless, people who have inside knowledge about ViacomCBS are convinced that CBS will do everything just to keep the NFL TV rights. Which media company do you think can win the rights to NFL TV?

Let us know what you think in the comments section down below!

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Tim Wagner
Tim Wagner
6 months ago

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