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Breaking Down The NFL's New $110 BILLION TV/Media Deal Which Will Include Flexing Games For Monday Night Football, Amazon As The Exclusive Home Of Thursday Night Football, And Much More

Look at the NFL striking a new TV deal for a bazillion dollars right after kicking off the new league year with a reduced salary cap. Talk about good timing for the league, huh?!?

To be clear, I have no clue if the timing of these negotiations could've changed the cap if they happened earlier but you can never go wrong throwing the Goodell clown face out there. Anyway, expect the salary cap to go up a SHITLOAD next year as everybody gets paid because it turns out Americans love watching the NFL which in turn means having the NFL on your channel can make you a shitload of money through ads and constantly being hammered on the head about the new NCIS show.

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Here is a breakdown of everything that has been announced via the NFL's press release:

AMAZON: In the NFL's first ever all-digital package, Amazon Prime Video has acquired the rights to be the exclusive home of Thursday Night Football across hundreds of compatible digital devices. The NFL and Amazon first partnered on Thursday Night Football as part of a Tri-Cast distribution model during the 2017 season.

Quick Takeaway: You are going to have to explain to your dad how to watch Thursday Night Football every week for the rest of your life and will also forget that the TNF game is not on TV for at least three full years. Jeff Bezos is also one step closer to world domination because the NFL is one of the Infinity Stones of real life. And the hardos who complain about Thursday Night Football don't have to worry about it taking up one of their 8 million channels for three hours.

CBS: With its new multi-platform agreement, CBS retains the rights for the American Football Conference (AFC) package of Sunday afternoon games. All games will be broadcast on the CBS Television Network and streamed live on Paramount+, ViacomCBS' flagship streaming service. CBS, America's most-watched network for the past 12-years, is the NFL's longest-running media partner having first begun televising NFL games in 1956.

FOX: FOX has renewed its agreement to produce the National Football Conference (NFC) package of Sunday afternoon games that it acquired in 1994. FOX expanded its digital rights, including for its AVOD streaming platform Tubi to deliver NFL programming on digital platforms. America's Game of the Week has been the most-watched show in all of television for the last 12 seasons and the most-watched NFL window for the last 20 seasons.

Quick Takeaway: The AFC and NFC will stay on their respective networks, which makes me happy because as not only someone who hates change but also an NFC guy that hates when the Giants play on CBS. It wouldn't shock me if AFC people like CBS because it's what they are used to, kinda like AL fans being Pro DH and NL fans being Anti DH. But while CBS may have America's Sweetheart Tony Romo announcing their game of the week, we have Cletus Truck Sticking everything that moves along with a much better theme song.

Giphy Images.

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Goddammit I need football.

Speaking of classic NFL songs, Monday Night Football and its wonderful theme will be returning to ESPN.

ESPN: ESPN will continue to be the NFL's television partner for cable's most-watched series, Monday Night Football. Additionally, ABC has acquired the rights to televise two Super Bowls along with exclusive regular season games. ESPN+ subscribers can stream one International Series game on an exclusive national basis every season and the new agreement allows ESPN the opportunity to simulcast all ABC and ESPN games on ESPN+. The new agreement for ESPN covers 11 years, including a 10-year deal beginning in 2023 and a bridge year deal in 2022. 

Quick Takeaway: I see no mention to the Booger Mobile returning or a real emphasis on putting any sort of personality into the booth this year. But locking into a longterm deal with the NFL makes big corporations with a stale product focus hard on pumping out a better product, right?

…shit

We also are apparently getting three Monday Night Football doubleheaders, which is awesome, and a Sunday morning game on ESPN+, which is not as awesome (the ESPN+ part. I love Sunday morning NFL games with the cheeky Brits dressing like mascots).

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Onto the next primetime NFL product.

NBC: Sunday Night Football, the #1 Primetime show on TV for an unprecedented 10th consecutive year, will continue to be produced by NBC Sports. In addition to simulcasting all Sunday Night Football games, Peacock, NBCUniversal's streaming service, will deliver an exclusive feed of a select number of NFL games over the course of the agreement. NBC first acquired its package of primetime games in 2006.

Quick Takeaway: Carrie is back!

Al and Cris (and hopefully the chair slide) are back!

The existential dread of having to sweat out a fantasy matchup until the very last second as the empirically beautiful John Williams song plays in the background is back!

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I cannot wait to have my heart ripped out on a nondescript 16 yard reception in garbage time again!

NFL NETWORK, the television home of the NFL, will continue to televise a select schedule of exclusive NFL games on a yearly basis.

Quick Takeaway: These are the days you can tell your dad to just turn on NFL Network to watch Thursday Night Football. Or Saturday Night Football. Or whatever weird scheduling hijinks that happens when Christmas lands on an NFL Sunday. Damn, I just realized we didn't get any kind of weird Tuesday Night Football after testing it out during the shitshow that was 2020. Guess we will have to wait until the next pandemic (JK, if we have another one of these in my lifetime, kill me).

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INCREASED DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION: With games on Amazon Prime Video, ESPN+, Paramount+, Peacock, and FOX Digital platforms – in addition to NFL Mobile and digital platforms - NFL games are now available in more places and on more devices than ever before to meet the evolving consumption habits of NFL fans.

Quick Takeaway: This doesn't mean much to an Old like me who likes lounging on the couch and watching games on his TV like a real man! But my kids, and probably a fair share of younger Stoolies, will probably watch a bunch of these games on their phones, tablets, computers, and whatever the next screen technology is that my washed up brain won't know how to use. 

BROADCAST DISTRIBUTION: The NFL continues to be the only sports league that delivers all of its games – regular-season and playoffs – on free, over-the-air television. Through the new agreement with ESPN, the NFL will broaden its broadcast distribution to include ABC, which will carry two Super Bowls along with additional exclusive regular season games each year. (Monday Night Football and Thursday Night Football are required by contract to be carried on over-the-air, broadcast stations in the cities of the participating teams.)

Quick Takeaway:

Oh thank you Mr. Goodell for keeping all your games on free TV. Us po' folk wouldn't know what we would do. Now we'll just mindlessly pay our regional sports network fees in our cable bill that will no doubt be rising with all these new media deals.

INCREASED "FLEX"-ABILITY: As part of these agreements, there will be an increased ability to flex games to Sunday Night Football and Monday Night Football allowing fans to watch more meaningful games in primetime.

Quick Takeaway: ESPN/ABC/Disney just paid a tonnnnnnn of money to keep the NFL so Roger and his merry band of suits decided to stop fucking them over with C+ matchups that cannot be changed no matter what. Who woulda thunk we could have good Sunday Night AND Monday Night games while also not being held hostage by a team that has 5 primetime games yet immediately becomes hot garbage because their QB got hurt?!?

INTERACTIVITY & ALTERNATE BROADCASTS: The NFL's media partners will now have greater ability to innovate around their productions and provide interactive elements such as stats/data, chat and integrated social feeds as part of their digital presentations. Additionally, there will be alternate presentations of select NFL games in addition to each partner's main production similar to the one's fans viewed during the 2020 postseason with ESPN's MegaCast and CBS Sports' presentation on Nickelodeon.

Giphy Images.

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Gimme NFL on Nickelodeon. Gimme NFL on Disney Channel. Gimme NFL on…you know what? I barely know what channels are out there anymore since 99% of the time my TV has sports on for me or cartoons for my kids. But I like the idea of hammering the NFL into their brains as well as the brains of people who already don't live and die with the NFL every Sunday since going to a house of non-football fans that don't have the games on TV during a fall Sunday is one of the worst things a human can experience.

The one place I'd love to watch a football game is on Barstool with some of my coworkers calling the game like normal(ish) people but that'll never happen because, well you know…

CBS, FOX and NBC will each televise three Super Bowls while ABC will carry two during the term of the agreements. The following is the Super Bowl broadcast schedule through 2033.

    • CBS: 2023, 2027, 2031
    • FOX: 2024, 2028, 2032
    • NBC: 2025, 2029, 2033
    • ESPN/ABC: 2026, 2030

Quick Takeaway: The only thing I care about when it comes to the Super Bowl is if my team is in it, if any of my rivals are in it, what I am eating, and what I responsibly bet on the Barstool Sportsbook app (DOWNLOAD HERE). Only sports business nerds truly give a shit about what channel the Super Bowl is on.

The NFL is the most valuable content in all of sports and entertainment. Over the last five years, 24 of the top 25 and 77 of the top 100 most-watched programs on television have been NFL games.

I added this last part because it is a flat out preposterous stat that is probably only going to get even crazier as content gets off of TV and onto a bunch of other digital platforms.

The only piece of information that's missing in all this is Sunday Ticket, whose deal runs through next season with DirecTV. I don't know what number or network that will land at, but I think it's fair to say the salary cap will get another little bump when it's all said and done. I'm not sure if the RedZone, both by DirecTV and the NFL, will be impacted at all. But I found this playlist of every touchdown on the RedZone and figured it would be the perfect way to end this blog for the people that made it through this novel. God bless you guys and God bless the NFL (but not Roger The Dodger. Fuck him and his YouTube blocking technology).

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