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Updated: Netflix to Stream Live Christmas Day NFL Games

 Patrick Mahomes.

In a major example of how large streaming services are successfully battling for lucrative sports rights, Netflix has announced that it has secured global rights to air two games on Christmas day this year.

Netflix and the NFL haven’t released financial terms of the deal but Bloomberg reports that the three-year deal will cost the streamer less than $150 million a game.

[Editors note: After the article was posted, the NFL released its 2024 schedule with the specific matchups: "The first-ever NFL games streamed on Netflix will be played on Christmas, Wednesday, December 25, in Week 17, as the Kansas City Chiefs visit the Pittsburgh Steelers (1 p.m. ET) and the Baltimore Ravens travel to face the Houston Texans (4:30 p.m. ET)."]

Netflix said that it will be hosting two games on Dec. 25, 2024 and that “in 2025 and 2026 when we’ll be streaming at least one holiday game each year as part of this three-season deal."

As it pushes into advertising, Netflix has been expanding its live programming. It has also has been playing ball with the NFL for a couple of years now, beginning with the hit series Quarterback in 2023. This summer, Receiver is set to premiere on Netflix and will follow five of the NFL’s best pass catchers through their 2023 season on and off the field: Davante Adams (Raiders), Justin Jefferson (Vikings), George Kittle and Deebo Samuel (of the 49ers), and Amon-Ra St. Brown (Lions).

“Last year, we decided to take a big bet on live — tapping into massive fandoms across comedy, reality TV, sports, and more,” explained Netflix chief content officer, Bela Bajaria. “There are no live annual events, sports or otherwise, that compare with the audiences NFL football attracts. We’re so excited that the NFL’s Christmas Day games will be only on Netflix.”

“We couldn’t be more excited to be the first professional sports league to partner with Netflix to bring live games to fans around the world,” says Hans Schroeder, NFL executive vice president of media distribution. “The NFL on Christmas has become a tradition and to partner with Netflix, a service whose biggest day of the year is typically this holiday, is the perfect combination to grow this event globally for NFL fans.”

The NFL will announce its full 2024 schedule tonight, May 15— including the Christmas Day matchups — on the NFL Network, NFL.com, and official NFL app at 8 p.m. ET.

The NFL launched Yuletide games in 1971 before bringing them back on a semi-regular basis in 1989. Since 2020, they’ve been a holiday staple with last year’s three Christmas games ranking among the top 25 most-viewed TV programs of 2023. The Raiders vs. Chiefs match drew the highest Christmas Day viewership since 1988. In total, the NFL has staged 30 Christmas contests.

The Netflix Christmas Day games will air on broadcast TV in the competing team cities, and be available on US mobile devices with NFL+.