The NFL's new television deal won't kick in until 2023, but when that happens, there will be some big changes coming around the league.
If you missed it, the NFL announced a new 11-year deal with its television partners on Thursday. According to the Associated Press, the NFL will earn a total of $113 billion from from the deal, which runs through the 2033 season. Under the new contract, you won't see very many changes from a network standpoint as CBS, NBC, ESPN and Fox will still all be airing games, but there will be plenty of other changes coming. One contract that's still up in the air is the DirecTV deal for Sunday Ticket. That contract currently runs through the end of the 2022 season.
With that in mind, here are 10 things to know from the new deal:
1. Monday night games can be flexed. The new media contract doesn't kick in until 2023, which means we're going to have to wait two years before this happens, but starting with the 2023 season, the NFL will have the option to flex Monday games beginning in Week 12.
2. Monday doubleheaders will be happening more often. The NFL has been holding a Monday doubleheader in Week 1 for years and now it will be adding more to the schedule. Starting in 2023, there will be a total of three Monday night doubleheaders with one game airing on ESPN and one game airing on ABC.
3. Saturday doubleheader during final week of season. The NFL doesn't usually play Saturday games during the final week of the season, but that will be changing starting this year. ESPN's contract now includes two Saturday games with playoff implications during the final week of the season, which means the NFL will likely be flexing games into this spot.
4. Nickelodeon games likely come back: The Nickelodeon game was a hit back in January and there will likely be a few more of those down the road. In the new contract, the NFL has given its network partners a greater ability to innovate around their productions and provide interactive elements. The league is also going to allow its partners to provide an "alternate presentation" of certain games, which opens the door for the networks to get creative like ViacomCBS did with the Nickelodeon game.
The NFL and the networks are going all in on streaming with the new contract. What this means is that there will be nearly 20 games each season that will only be available online.
5. "Thursday Night Football" headed to Amazon. The tech giant will be the exclusive home of "Thursday Night Football' starting in 2023. For the next two seasons, Thursday football will be aired on Fox while also streaming on Amazon. Starting in 2023 though, Fox will be out of the picture and the only way for anyone to watch a Thursday game will be on Amazon (Amazon games will also be available on over-the-air TV in the home markets of the two teams that are playing.) According to Pro Football Talk, Amazon could also earn the right to exclusively stream a wild-card playoff game if the company meets certain viewership thresholds in its Thursday night package.
6. One international game will air exclusively on ESPN+. ESPN's new streaming service ESPN+ will get to exclusively carry one international game per season, which means you'll have to have ESPN+ if you want to watch this game.
7. NBC's Peacock streaming network will get to exclusively air six regular-season games. From 2023 thru 2028, the NFL will be allowing NBC's Peacock service to exclusively stream one game per season.
8. Paramount+ also coming up big. Paramount+ has been granted new and expanded rights for the streaming service, allowing for the flexibility to distribute NFL games on the premium tier at $9.99 and the new $4.99 ad-supported tier that will debut in June. The rights begin with the 2021 season and extend throughout the length of the new deal to 2033.
9. NFL can opt out of the deal after seven years: As noted by NBC, the league has the right to terminate the contract after seven years. One reason the NFL would think about exercising this right would be if something causes the TV rights to increase in value (Gambling is one thing that could help make that happen). If the value of the TV rights shoot up, the league could terminate the contract and go back to the negotiating table by 2030.
10. CBS, Fox and NBC each get three Super Bowls, ABC gets two. CBS will air the first Super Bowl in the new TV contact, which will take place in February 2024. The rotation for Super Bowls will go like this: CBS, Fox, NBC, ABC. When ABC airs the Super Bowl following the 2026 season, it will mark the first time since February 2006 (Super Bowl XL) that the network has gotten to air the NFL's biggest game.
Here's where the Super Bowl will be airing for the next 13 seasons:
2022: Fox (end of old contract)
2023: CBS (start of new contract)