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 on Wednesday to stream games on Christmas Day.

The streaming giant will carry two games this year and at least one in 2025 and ’26. Kansas City will face defending Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh in the first game, followed by Baltimore at Houston.

The NFL has played a total of 30 games on Christmas Day since 1971, including three games last year. He has remained out of midweek matches until this year’s Christmas list.

Hans Schroeder, executive vice president of NFL Media, said team owners who met in March were presented with a plan where teams that play on Christmas Day would play their Week 16 games on Saturday, giving them the same amount of prep time they normally have in a shortened week. When playing on Sunday and Thursday.

After the owners gave the green light to move forward, Netflix reached out to the league about streaming the games.

“We conducted an extensive process and spoke with a number of potential parties, and ultimately believed that Netflix was the relevant party,” Schroeder said. “This is truly the first true global rights deal with a major sports league or property. We will learn a lot and we are excited for our fans around the world to enjoy the games on one platform.”

Netflix began streaming NFL programming last year with the series “Quarterback.” The series will be offered on wide receivers for the first time this year. He also aired a live Tom Brady roast on May 5, and will have a 10-part documentary series later this year about Jerry Jones and his ownership of the Dallas Cowboys.

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Netflix’s forays into live sporting events began last year, but they were mostly showcase events in golf and tennis. The July 20 match between Mike Tyson and Jake Paul Next year she will begin carrying World Wrestling Entertainment’s label The main “raw” show.

“People love football and we love it, too. These games fit in with our big-event live strategy for all the live programming we’ve done in the past year — like The Tom Brady Roast, Netflix Slam, and the upcoming Jake Paul vs. Tyson boxing match,” said Bela Bajaria, chief content officer at Netflix, told The Associated Press: “We’re excited to have the NFL conversation on Christmas Day.”

It has not yet been determined who Netflix will use to advertise and produce the holiday double feature.

The bigger question is how the move from television to live streaming will impact ratings as Christmas games typically have large audiences. The three games last year averaged 28.68 million viewers. The early afternoon contest between the Las Vegas Raiders and Kansas City Chiefs averaged 29.48 million.

CBS Sports Chairman and CEO David Pearson welcomed Netflix even if it means his network won’t have a game on Christmas Day.

“Good for Netflix. “The more interest there is in the NFL, the more we benefit,” Pearson said. “It’s not possible for us to host all the AFC games, and we know some of them will go to NBC, ESPN, Amazon, and in this case Netflix.” “It’s great to have them be a part of this. Welcome to the party.”

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Although there has been some criticism about more games moving to live streaming, NFL fans have mostly stayed tuned.

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

The Jan. 13 playoff game between the Miami Dolphins and Kansas City Chiefs at Peacock Stadium averaged 23 million viewers, a record for the most-watched event on a streaming service. It has also outstripped crowds for the Saturday night wild card playoff games shown on NBC in two of the past three years.

“We looked at all of those elements and then looked at what the Netflix 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. Bringing on a new partner who can speak to a broader audience is something we’re excited about.

In keeping with the NFL’s long-standing policy of games being carried via cable or streaming platforms, the Netflix Christmas special will air on broadcast television in the competing teams’ home cities and will be available on mobile devices in the U.S. with NFL+.

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

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