The NFL and Netflix struck one deal that will have Taylor Swift fans screaming in rage 

May 16, 2024

The cost of following the National Football League keeps growing.

But now the league is poised to soak fans even further.

And the NFL and Netflix just struck one deal that will have Taylor Swift fans screaming in rage.

NFL poised to sell two Christmas Day games to Netflix 

The NFL normally releases the upcoming schedule by the first week in May.

This year, that time frame came and went with no announcement of the 2024 NFL schedule.

According to Puck News’ John Ourand, the delay stemmed from the fact that the league is nailing down the final details of a deal to sell two Christmas Day games to streaming giant Netflix.

“But earlier this week, the league enigmatically delayed its schedule release to May 15 without offering a reason. Now, of course, we know why: The league’s top executives have been in the middle of a high-stakes negotiation with Netflix over its planned Christmas Day games,” Ourand reported.

“And now it looks like Netflix will wind up carrying the two NFL games scheduled for December 25, per a bevy of sources. Yes, yes, yes, this could all fall apart and all the usual caveats—nothing has been signed yet, and the two sides still have to clear some hurdles before any deal is announced. But Netflix’s emergence as a bidder—and likely winner—is one of the main reasons behind the schedule delay,” Ourand added.

The NFL wants these games to be a massive success to increase the price streamers are willing to bid for games going forward tenfold.

That means putting up marquee teams that will drive the highest viewer interest on Christmas Day.

And there is little doubt that the NFL would love to have the Kansas City Chiefs play on Christmas Day.

The Chiefs – as the two-time defending Super Bowl champion – were assured of the maximum number of prime-time games.

But the added attraction of Taylor Swift attending a Christmas Day game to watch boyfriend Travis Kelce take the field will likely be to tempting resist.

NFL money grab

This move would continue the NFL’s march to put games behind a paywall.

Even if you have a cable package, you now need to subscribe to ESPN+, Peacock, Amazon Prime, and Netflix to watch regular season and playoff games that are exclusive streamers.

If you cut the cord to “save” money by ditching cable and getting your TV through streaming, you need those four services, as well as Paramount+, which hosts CBS, the home of the AFC package, and Fubo TV, the only way to stream Fox, which televises the NFL package as well as this season’s Super Bowl – if you want to watch all your team’s games.

In 2023, the NFL projected to rake in $18.8 billion in revenue.

That wasn’t enough.

The league sold a wildcard playoff game to Peacock for $110 million.

Fans had to shell out $5.99 per month for Peacock to watch the Miami Dolphins take on the Kansas City Chiefs.

Fans and sports commentators were outraged.

“Not only is the NFL’s greedy Peacock adventure a disgrace. But the quality of the telecast is equally disgraceful. Fix the technology,” legendary radio host Mike Francesa wrote on X.

Putting the game on pay-per-view cut down the number of fans who could watch the game.

The three NFL games on traditional broadcast TV drew audiences of 29, 31, and 40 million viewers.

Just 23 million viewers watched the Peacock exclusive wildcard game.

The NFL embraces streaming

2024 will see even more games on streaming.

In addition to the Christmas Day games, the NFL sold a week 1 Philadelphia Eagles game in Brazil to Peacock.

Amazon also paid $120 million for a wildcard playoff game.

The appeal of the NFL was due in large part to the fact that fans knew to tune in every Sunday to watch their teams on free broadcast TV.

Now the NFL is turning into a pay-per-view service that shakes down fans for every nickel if they want to watch their teams play.

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