The NFL is finding a new home for its Sunday Ticket package, and the bidding is down to two of the world’s largest tech companies and one of the world’s largest media conglomerates. Amazon, Apple and Disney are all vying for the out-of-market set, which the NFL reportedly wants to shift at least partly to a streaming property. The league is seeking $2.5 billion to $3 billion annually for Sunday Ticket.
Fox Sports, a few weeks after making a splash by announcing Tom Brady would be joining the network as an NFL analyst when his playing career is over, has confirmed its lead announcing talent for 2022. As expected, Kevin Burkhardt and Greg Olsen have been named lead play-by-play announcer and analyst, replacing Joe Buck and Troy Aikman. In a stunning move prior to the Brady bombshell, Fox parted ways with Buck and Aikman after more than 20 years, with the pair shifting to ESPN’s Monday Night Football.
The National Football League plans to launch its own streaming service in July, according to a report from the NFL owner meeting by Sports Business Journal. NFL Plus will feature live games on mobile phones and tablets and is expected cost about $5 monthly. The games would be the same game fans can see on TV in their local markets.
Fellow NFL owners are weighing options as they grow weary of Snyder’s regime as owner of the Washington Commanders. One NFL owner said that the group is “counting votes” as to potentially removing Snyder. There are 32 NFL franchises and it would take 24 votes to get rid of him.
Joe Buck and Troy Aikman have been working together since 2002 when they became Fox’s top crew. The new ESPN NFL team will match Pat Summerall and John Madden for the longest NFL booth pairing at 21 seasons when Russell Wilson and the Denver Broncos visit Wilson’s former team, the Seattle Seahawks, on Sept. 12.
Legendary NFL quarterback Drew Brees will not return to NBC after just one season as a studio and game analyst, according to sources. The decision seemed mutual as Brees preferred doing games over the Football Night in America studio show, and NBC didn’t have many NFL games to offer him. NBC soured on Brees’ potential after originally believing he could develop into the heir apparent to Cris Collinsworth on Sunday Night Football games.
Amazon Prime Video is pleased about its slate of games for its first season as the exclusive carrier of Thursday Night Football. The Los Angeles Chargers-Kansas City Chiefs matchup on Sept. 15 was announced two weeks ago, while the remaining 14 games were unveiled on Thursday as part of the full rollout of the NFL regular-season schedule.
The network, which previously televised two playoff games, and CBS will handle TV duties on Dec. 25 at 4:30 p.m. ET. The Super Bowl champion Rams will host the game, which also will be streamed by Paramount+.
Five prospective buyers, including Walmart heir Rob Walton, have submitted non-binding bids for the NFL’s Denver Broncos, according to a person familiar with the process.
Apple is about to take a, well, something out of the NFL’s rights portfolio. The tech behemoth reportedly has emerged as the favorite to land the NFL’s Sunday Ticket package, according to Matthew Belloni of PUCK.news, via Sports Business Journal. An unnamed source told Belloni that the deal is actually done, and that it’s being kept under wraps at Apple’s request.
The NFL reportedly is considering a paid streaming service. On Sunday, the possibility of “NFL+” was presented to teams at the league meetings. It would include “games, radio, podcasts and team content.” The development comes at a time when the NFL is selling mobile rights (which are currently available), the Sunday Ticket package (which expires after 2022), and a piece of NFL Media, the in-house multi-platform conglomerate that the league has owned and operated from inception. The league has yet to find a serious taker for NFL Media equity. Some believe it ultimately will be tied to the Sunday Ticket rights.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback took to Instagram Sunday to tell fans that he will be returning to the field for his 23rd season, despite having announced his retirement in February. “These past two months I have realized my place is still on the field and not in the stands,” he wrote. “That time will come. But it’s not now. I love my teammates, and I love my supportive family. Without them, none of this is possible. I’m coming back for my 23rd season in Tampa. We have unfinished business. LFG.”
The National Football League and Nielsen said that a new study they collaborated on estimates that more than 208 million people watched the 2022 Super Bowl, a number 25% higher than the 167 million unique viewers who watched at least one minute of the game based on Nielsen’s previous report.
This marquee package for fans is still exclusively on DirecTV, but a new deal could make ESPN, Amazon or Apple players too.
Fifty-five years ago, fans across the United States had the choice of two networks to watch the first Super Bowl. A giant exception was in the host city of Los Angeles, where fans didn’t even have one network to tune into. Back then, the National Football League blacked out every game in the local market, convinced that televising the game locally would cause fans to watch on TV rather than pay for tickets. Above: Green Bay Packers quarterback Bart Starr throws a pass during the first quarter of Super Bowl I in Los Angeles. The Packers beat the Kansas City Chiefs, 35-10. (AP photo)
Few properties attract more fan curiosity than NFL Sunday Ticket. The out-of-market viewing platform, exclusive to DirecTV since it debuted in 1994, could soon be on the move. Appearing on CNBC, Brian Rolapp, NFL EVP and chief business officer, said there have been “lots of conversations” with both “traditional companies and tech companies.” He added that the deal to be done entails more than just Sunday Ticket.
Media tycoon Byron Allen is preparing a bid for the Denver Broncos, a move that if successful would make him the first Black majority owner of a National Football League team. “NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft came to me in November of 2019 and asked me to take a good look at buying an NFL team,” Allen, chairman and chief executive officer at Allen Media Group, said in a statement in response to inquiries about his interest in the Broncos.
Brian Flores, the former head coach of the Miami Dolphins, claimed in a class-action lawsuit filed Tuesday that the NFL discriminated against him and other Black coaches in their hiring practices.
You were really, really ready for some NFL conference championship football this past Sunday. For starters, The NFL on CBS‘ broadcast of the Cincinnati Bengals’ overtime victory against the Kansas City Chiefs averaged 47.9 million viewers, marking the most-watched Conference Championship Game in the early window in six years (since the Pats beat the Broncos in front of an audience of 53.3 million). The Bengals-Chiefs match-up peaked with just shy of 61 million viewers.
The NFL playoffs weren’t just good for Fox and ESPN during the games over the weekend and on Monday night. Chatter around the opening weekend of the playoffs helped drive ESPN and Fox Sports 1’s weekday morning shows to record viewership.
The NFL’s regular season viewership rose 10%, benefiting broadcasters and advertisers after the previous year’s drop. About 17.1 million viewers tuned in to regular season games on TV and online. It was the highest regular season audience for the NFL since 2015, according to a statement from the league. With the audience for dramas and comedies on traditional TV falling, NFL games continue to dominate the ratings, ranking as 91 of the top 100 telecasts this season, the league said.
By all measures, sports advertising is dominating ads in all other types of programming, walloping the competition in primetime. All indications are it only has more to grow.
“We plan on playing Super Bowl LVI as scheduled at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles on Sunday, Feb. 13,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said in a statement. “As part of our standard contingency planning process that we conduct for all regular and postseason games, we have contacted several clubs to inquire about stadium availability in the event we cannot play the Super Bowl as scheduled due to weather-related issues or unforeseen circumstances [such as COVID-19]. Our planning process for the Super Bowl in Los Angeles is ahead of schedule and we look forward to hosting the Super Bowl there to culminate another fantastic NFL season for oir fans and clubs.”
A rather unusual spot appearing to be a Fox NFL promo aired during yesterday’s NFL pre-game show. What made it particularly unusual was that it included an EAS-like tone, and had a URL at the bottom of the screen for “WWW.FOXNFLEMERGENCYALERT.COM.” That URL currently links to a “Let’s Go Brandon” website that I don’t encourage you to visit because our own spam software blocks access to it on the stated grounds of “Risky-Sites.”
NFLSundayTicket.tv is supposed to be available only to students and apartment dwellers who can’t get DirecTV satellite TV service. But the NFL seems to be marketing it to anyone and everyone.
If/when the NFL offers St. Louis an expansion team in an effort to resolve the Rams relocation litigation, the league wouldn’t move to an odd number of teams. The league would add a second team, if it adds a first one. Which gives rise to a bigger question. How many more teams could the NFL eventually add?
The complaint estimates there are somewhere between 300,000-700,000 individuals in about 181 countries who missed out on watching crucial moments of the 2020 matchup between the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers.
The controversy surrounding the team, fueled by recent emails that resulted in Jon Gruden’s resignation, has prompted some owners to signal concerns with how the situation has been handled. Above, Mark Davis, owner of the Las Vegas Raiders, leaves the NFL owners meeting in New York on Wednesday. (Adam Hunger/Associated Press)
The Walt Disney Co. and the National Football League reached a five-year deal that will put a new Monday night wild card playoff game on ESPN and ABC, starting at the end of this year’s regular season. The Disney networks plan to use the game as part of a megacast that will include a simulcast on ESPN and ABC, with Peyton and Eli Manning hosting their popular alternative telecast on ESPN2 and ESPN Plus.
Through the first four weeks of the new season, professional football games are averaging 17.3 million viewers on television and digital, a whopping 17% increase over last season and 3% compared to two years ago.
An alternate Monday Night Football becomes an instant hit on what was once a dull evening. Any public consensus is a marvel in 2021. Polarized America can barely bring itself to agree on the day of the week. But the Mannings? America in lockstep loves the Mannings, and their newly-coined “Manningcast,” and the numbers bear it out, with ratings rising each week.
The National Football League is defying gravity in the changing television universe. Three weeks into the 2021 season, overall viewing of the NFL is up 9% over the comparable period last year according to data from Nielsen and the league’s partners, with an average of 16.9 million viewers on TV and digital platforms. It’s the best start for the league since 2016, which analysts attribute in part to the easing of the pandemic and other factors.
The National Football League on Friday said that this season’s wild card playoff weekend will conclude with a Monday night game on Jan. 17. The broadcaster for that Monday night game has yet to be determined, the NFL said. The league has been making efforts to create better matchups and better games for its TV partners, which this year signed new long-term deals worth more than $100 million.
NFL executives privately prefer a pure-play technology giant like Apple over a ‘retailer’ like Amazon, The Athletic reports.
ESPN, NFL Network finish among top five most watched networks on strength of NFL telecasts.