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Netflix will stream NFL games live on Christmas Day for 3 years, including 2 this season

Netflix and the NFL announced a three-year deal Wednesday to stream games on Christmas Day.

The streaming giant will offer two games this year and at least one game in 2025 and 2026. Defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City will face Pittsburgh in the opener, followed by Baltimore in Houston.

The NFL has played a total of 30 games on Christmas Day since 1971, including three last year. He, however, stayed away from midweek games until this year’s Christmas list.

Hans Schroeder, executive vice president of NFL Media, said team owners meeting in March were given a plan in which teams playing on Christmas Day would have their Week 16 games on Saturday, giving them the same preparation time that they normally have. in a short week playing on Sunday and Thursday.

After the owners gave the green light to continue, Netflix contacted the league to stream the games.

“We went through an extensive process and talked with a number of potential parties and ultimately felt Netflix was the right fit,” Schroeder said. “This is truly the first truly global rights deal with a major sports league or property. We’re going to learn a lot and we’re excited that our fans around the world will be able to enjoy the games on one platform.

Netflix began streaming NFL programming last year with the series “Quarterback.” A series on wide receivers will premiere this year. It also livestreamed the Tom Brady roast on May 5 and will have a 10-part documentary series later this year on Jerry Jones and his ownership of the Dallas Cowboys.

Netflix’s forays into live sports streaming began last year, but those were exhibition events in golf and tennis. There are also plans to broadcast the July 20 fight between Mike Tyson and Jake Paul and next year will begin broadcasting World Wrestling Entertainment broadcasts. flagship show, “Raw”.

“People love football and so do we. These games go with our live strategy for big events from all the live programming we’ve done over the last year – like the Tom Brady roast, the Netflix Slam and the upcoming Jake Paul vs. Tyson boxing match. We’re excited to have the NFL conversation around Christmas Day,” Bela Bajaria, Netflix’s chief content officer, told the Associated Press.

It remains unclear who Netflix will use to advertise and produce the holiday doubleheader.

The biggest question is how the move from TV to streaming will impact audiences, as Christmas games typically attract large audiences. Last year’s three games averaged 28.68 million viewers. The early afternoon game between the Las Vegas Raiders and Kansas City Chiefs averaged 29.48 million.

CBS Sports CEO and Chairman David Berson welcomed Netflix even though it meant his network wouldn’t have a game on Christmas Day.

“Good for Netflix. The more interest the NFL takes, the more we will benefit,” Berson said. “We can’t have every AFC game — we know some will go to NBC, ESPN, Amazon and in this case, Netflix,” he said. “It’s great to have them with us. Welcome to the party.”

While there has been some criticism of more games moving to streaming, NFL fans have mostly stayed tuned.

According to Nielsen figures, last season’s 16-game “Thursday Night Football” package on Prime Video averaged 11.86 million viewers, a 24% increase from 2023. Two games drew more of 15 million viewers, including 15.3 million for the November 30 game between the Seattle Seahawks and the Dallas Cowboys.

The Jan. 13 AFC playoff game between the Miami Dolphins and Kansas City Chiefs on Peacock averaged 23 million, a record for the most-watched event on a streaming service. It also topped the ratings for Saturday night playoff games broadcast on NBC in two of the last three years.

“We looked at all of those things and then looked at what Netflix’s audience could do with its reach,” Schroeder said. “We want to continue to reach our fans on these new platforms and where we know they spend their time. And bringing on a new partner capable of reaching an even wider audience is something we are excited about.

Consistent with the NFL’s long-standing policy regarding games broadcast on cable or streaming platforms, Netflix Christmas games will be broadcast on television in the competing teams’ home cities and will be available on devices mobile in the United States with NFL+.

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AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl

News Source : apnews.com
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