Netflix scores rights to stream NFL Christmas Day games

Netflix has notched a three-year deal to stream NFL games on Christmas Day, starting with two games on Christmas Day in 2024. Netflix is reportedly paying about $75 million per game this year.

Jeff Baumgartner, Senior Editor

May 15, 2024

3 Min Read
NFL line of scrimmage Minnesota Vikings vs New Orleans Saints
(Source: Kirby Lee/Alamy Stock Photo)

Christmas has come early for Netflix.

Netflix's strategy to deliver live sporting events got a big boost Wednesday with word that the streaming giant had locked in a three-year deal to broadcast National Football League (NFL) games on Christmas Day.

Under the deal, Netflix will stream two NFL games on Christmas Day this year, and stream at least one NFL matchup on Christmas Day in 2025 and 2026.

Netflix is on the hook to pay about $75 million per game for the 2024 Christmas Day games, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

Though Netflix will get the bulk of the viewing action, those Christmas Day games will also be made available via broadcast TV in the competing teams' home markets and on mobile devices through the NFL+ service.

Football fans will soon learn which games Netflix will stream this holiday season – the NFL will announce its 2024 regular season schedule today at 8 p.m. ET. But the matchups should carry some weight given that teams are usually jockeying for playoff position during the holidays.

The new deal will tighten Netflix's relationship with the NFL, arriving in the wake of its 2023 series "Quarterback." Another series, "Receiver," is set to premiere on Netflix this summer and follow five top pass-catchers: Davante Adams of the Las Vegas Raiders, Justin Jefferson of the Minnesota Vikings, George Kittle and Deebo Samuel of the San Francisco 49ers, and Amon-Ra St. Brown of the Detroit Lions.

Focus on live streaming

The deal also builds on Netflix's growing focus on live streaming, which of recent note has included coverage of the SAG Awards, "Netflix Slam," an exhibition match between Rafael Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz, and "The Netflix Cup." Starting in January 2025, WWE's "Raw" will stream live on Netflix exclusively in multiple regions, including the US, Canada, UK and Latin America. This summer, Netflix plans to stream a boxing match between former heavyweight champ Mike Tyson and YouTube star/boxer Jake Paul.

"Last year, we decided to take a big bet on live – tapping into massive fandoms across comedy, reality TV, sports and more," Bela Bajaria, Netflix's chief content officer, said in a statement. "There are no live annual events, sports or otherwise, that compare with the audiences NFL football attracts."

Netflix's NFL deal ties into a bigger trend in which major streaming platforms, including Amazon, Google/YouTube, Apple TV+ and NBCU's Peacock, are continuing to snap up important sports rights, siphoning away some of the value of the traditional pay-TV bundle.

In the football world, Amazon streams the NFL's Thursday night package, Google/YouTube has rights to the coveted NFL Sunday Ticket package, and Peacock offers streaming access to the league's marquee Sunday night game. In January 2024, Peacock exclusively streamed (outside the local markets) the AFC Wild Card game between the Miami Dolphins and the Kansas City Chiefs, drawing an average audience of about 23 million viewers across Peacock, NBC stations in Miami and Kansas City and on mobile via NFL+.

This season, Peacock will exclusively stream the NFL regular season week one game in São Paulo, Brazil, on Friday, September 6. Expanding on its Thursday Night Football package, Amazon Prime Video is also on tap to stream a wild card game during the upcoming NFL season. Those games will also be available via broadcast TV in the local markets of the competing teams and on mobile devices with NFL+.

About the Author(s)

Jeff Baumgartner

Senior Editor, Light Reading

Jeff Baumgartner is a Senior Editor for Light Reading and is responsible for the day-to-day news coverage and analysis of the cable and video sectors. Follow him on X and LinkedIn.

Baumgartner also served as Site Editor for Light Reading Cable from 2007-2013. In between his two stints at Light Reading, he led tech coverage for Multichannel News and was a regular contributor to Broadcasting + Cable. Baumgartner was named to the 2018 class of the Cable TV Pioneers.

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