NFL reaches new 11-year broadcast agreement with TV partners; Amazon Prime lands Thursday night games

Nate Davis, USA TODAY
·3 min read

The NFL announced a new 11-year broadcast agreement Thursday in an unprecedented partnership with its usual television partners as well as new emphasis on digital platforms.

Per multiple reports, the league will collect $10 billion annually – a figure NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell would neither confirm nor deny.

The biggest changes: Thursday night games will become the exclusive domain of Amazon Prime, and DirecTV's Sunday Ticket will no longer be part of the package.

ABC will enter the Super Bowl rotation, though "Monday Night Football" will continue to air on ESPN. Fox retains the league's NFC package, and CBS will keep the AFC package.

NFL chief media and business officer Brian Rolapp also revealed on NFL Network that the final week of the regular season will feature Saturday games.

The new agreement will initiate with the 2023 season and run through 2033.

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"These new media deals will provide our fans even greater access to the games they love. We're proud to grow our partnerships with the most innovative media companies in the market," Goodell said in a press release.

"Along with our recently completed labor agreement with the NFLPA, these distribution agreements bring an unprecedented era of stability to the League and will permit us to continue to grow and improve our game."

Aside from the commitment to Amazon, the league will offer content, including varying levels of regular-season action, to its partners' streaming platforms – ESPN+, Paramount+ (CBS), Tubi (Fox) and Peacock (NBC).

NBC will continue to broadcast "Sunday Night Football," the league's marquee game in most weeks. ABC will now have access to select regular-season games, and the league will also have increased ability to flex better matchups to both Sunday and Monday nights.

The Super Bowl schedule going forward is as follows:

CBS: 2023, 2027, 2031

FOX: 2024, 2028, 2032

NBC: 2025, 2029, 2033

ESPN/ABC: 2026, 2030

The NFL touted the fact that it continues to be the only sports league that delivers all of its games – regular-season and playoffs – on free, over-the-air television. (Games played on Monday and Thursday nights must be available on broadcast stations in the home markets of participating teams.)

On a conference call with media members, Goodell said the NFL's new emphasis on digital platforms is a "seminal moment" for distribution of league content.

He did not directly answer when the NFL plans to expand its regular season, though it's expected to increase to 17 games, likely this year, after the league and NFL Players Association agreed to a new collective bargaining agreement last year that runs through 2030. The new CBA allows for the extra games and enabled the league to expand the playoff field from 12 to 14 teams beginning with the 2020 season.

"We believe that we are incredibly well positioned, probably better than ever before, to grow our game and engage our fans in innovative ways," said Goodell.

"These deals are the foundation to be able to do that. We will also enjoy the flexibility to adapt to new technology, new innovations, new viewing habits over the time that we have a media landscape that’s rapidly changing. These deals consider that, anticipate that and give us the flexibility to be able to do that in a way we think will be very productive for our fans, the league and our clubs."

According to the league, 24 of the top 25 most-watched programs on television (and 77 of the top 100) over the last five years have been NFL games.

Contributing: Jarrett Bell

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Follow USA TODAY Sports' Nate Davis on Twitter @ByNateDavis.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: NFL reaches new 11-year broadcast agreement with TV partners