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Get ready for all NFL broadcast deals to be scrapped as of 2029

The current broadcast deals officially run through 2033. And the NFL officially can pull the plug on all packages four years early.

Recent developments make it obvious that the NFL will indeed exercise its right to take every broadcast package back to market, with the next wave of deals kicking in as of 2030.

The looming gold mine for the NBA will make the NFL see even larger dollar signs for its next wave of contracts. The flirtation with Netflix for the Christmas 2024 games, even if it’s not consummated, shows that the NFL will be looking to lure more partners to the table.

That’s one of the key aspects of this high-stakes programming game. Have one or two more seriously interested broadcasters than packages. That keeps the prices very high, and always going higher.

It’s not unreasonable. The NFL’s ability to pull a massive live audience together continues to become more conspicuous and rare in this age of ever-increasing audience fragmentation. (Kramer saw it coming.). For broadcasters, it used to be about selling the other offerings to viewers. It’s now also about adding customers for streamers, which Peacock did effectively with a playoff game in January. It’s also about selling products to those watching the game, which compelled Amazon to instigate a Black Friday game. (Amazon surely isn’t thrilled about one or two Christmas games landing on a different streamer, given all the stuff that could be sold on a day when folks might be poised to splurge.)

The major packages are Sunday afternoon (two of them), Sunday Ticket, Sunday night, Monday night, and Thursday night. The Sunday morning European games could also be sold to the highest bidder, with other specific packages possibly being carved out — as the NFL did this year with Christmas.

Really, why not take the major games of a given season and sell just those to the highest bidder? Opening night. Week 1 Friday night, when the calendar allows it. Thanksgiving. Christmas.

And with NBC, CBS, Fox, ESPN/ABC, Amazon, Netflix, Google/YouTube already in business with the NFL, the league can just sit back and wait for the offers to roll in, if/when (when) the current deals are scuttled four years early.