Score! NFL to Grab $7 Billion a Year in Broadcast Deals

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Score! NFL to Grab $7 Billion a Year in Broadcast DealsSprawling out on the couch, cradling a beer and watching your team ... few things are more American than the Sunday afternoon football game -- which helps to explain why the NFL continues to draw some of the highest ratings on television. Now, with TV Everywhere pushing to stream content onto Android phones, iPads, iPhones, and pretty much anything else with a screen, the numbers of viewers for those games are poised to go through the roof.

With this in mind, it's not hard to understand why CBS, Fox, and NBC -- not to mention Sirius Satellite Radio, Westwood One Radio and Verizon Mobile -- are about to ink commitments to pay billions to carry the games. SportsBusinessDaily.com reports that the new deals will translate into an estimated $7 billion per year for the NFL.

For the first time, each of the broadcast networks will pay an annual average of at least $1 billion for the rights to carry NFL games. The expected windfall from CBS, Fox and NBC will be worth more than a combined $24 billion over the next eight years. -- SportsBusinessDaily.com

Part of the reason for the impressive new payments -- a whopping 64% increase over the league's current television revenues -- is that, in an ever-shifting media landscape, football games remain one of the few completely reliable sources of huge ratings. On a larger scale, however, the explosive increase in media revenues reflects a similar increase in the number of media outlets. As TV networks stream to an ever-expanding array of devices to capture viewers, the NFL is hoping to capture even more of the revenue that its games generate.

And customers are clearly willing to pay. DirecTV's NFL Sunday Ticket costs a whopping $52.99 per month, in addition to existing DirecTV fees. By comparison, the company's NFL SundayTicket To Go, which streams the games directly to mobile devices, costs $350 for a season. The big difference, however, is that the new program doesn't require a satellite dish, which means that DirecTV can use it to reach an entirely new group of viewers. While the accessibility situation isn't quite so clear-cut for most providers, there's little doubt that streaming video will open them up to broader audiences...and bigger revenues.

The NFL's current broadcast contracts extend until the end of 2013, and the new rates won't kick in until the following year. The new contracts are expected to extend until the end of 2021. Whatever changes come to the technology of video between now and then, those networks are counting on one thing -- that you'll be obsessively watching football for another decade.

Bruce Watson is a senior features writer for DailyFinance. You can reach him by e-mail at bruce.watson@teamaol.com, or follow him on Twitter at @bruce1971.

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92 Comments

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Craig and Valisha

And we will all pay a little more. I quit watching sports a couple of years ago. These people think they are like god.

December 07 2011 at 7:07 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Stanley

With that amount of money, why do taxpayers need to kick-in when building the stadiums?

December 06 2011 at 11:53 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Stanley's comment
warrenbent

Because taxpayers keep voting for politicians who like to spend taxpayers money more than they like losing NFL franchises who will move to locales where other taxpayers keep voting for politicians who like to spend taxpayers money to gain NFL franchises.

December 06 2011 at 12:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
masser

Get a life for yourselves, stop watching these sports, stop going to the movies and put these high paid athletes and stars back to reality.

December 06 2011 at 11:36 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
RENE CINQ-MARS

There is only 1 way to make the GREED stop and that is to boycot these greed infested games
there is no loyalty anymore in pro sports, Hockey is pretty much the only pro sport I watch anymore

December 05 2011 at 9:27 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to RENE CINQ-MARS's comment
warrenbent

What do you think should be done about the "greed" of mouth-breathing goons from Foggy Bottom, who instead of relying on voluntary transactions of the variety described in this article about the contract between network operators and the NFL, rely instead on force and coersion to confiscate 500 times more of the fruits of citizens labor each year?

December 06 2011 at 10:45 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
heb018

NO COMMENT AT THIS THIS TIME

December 05 2011 at 8:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
bjg1765

Its nice to know that its not just the politicians and oil companies that are greedy ba$*ards. I dont watch professional sports any more except for nascar. I havent seen any high dollar hold outs or strikes or whiney overpaid drivers complaining that they dont make enough. What ever happened to sports being for love of the game? Now all pro sports and most college have become nothing but greed for the almighty dollar. I cant wait for the day when the stands are empty, the tv's are turned off, and the sports memorabelia sits on the shelves gathering dust because everyone has quit paying attention to the crybaby millionaires.

December 05 2011 at 8:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
joe

Just wondering how many hungry, homeless people lying in their own piss will they be stepping over as they run to pick up their nice huge checks

December 05 2011 at 8:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to joe's comment
warrenbent

How many hungry, homeless people lying in their own piss do you step over top pick up your check?

December 06 2011 at 8:02 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
joe

Greed, Greed, Greed, Greed, Greed, Greed, Greed, Greed, Greed, Greed, Greed, Greed, Greed, Greed,Greed,Greed, Greed, Greed, Greed, Greed, Greed, Greed, Greed, Greed, Greed, Greed, Greed, Greed, Greed, Greed, Greed, Greed

December 05 2011 at 7:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
kinksfan64

When I watch football games, I always look into the stands to see how many empty seats there are, Ive noticed alot more than normal, tickets are too high, food prices and drink prices are too high and inflation is killing the common fan....sooner or later someone is going to lose money.,

December 05 2011 at 7:47 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to kinksfan64's comment
warrenbent

That story is a good 40 years old now.

December 06 2011 at 8:03 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jerwoody

The NFL Sunday Ticket is a joke. Try to watch a game on the ticket when a team that is considered your local market, even if you live hundred of miles away in another state, is playing. The NFL Blackout rules are ridiculous and make the consumer value of this product worthless. Never again for me and just as well because Directv sucks the big one.

December 05 2011 at 7:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply