The NFL further solidified its status as the nation’s most prosperous sport by completing a lucrative set of extensions of its national television contracts with Fox, CBS and NBC.
The nine-year extensions run through the 2022 season, the league announced Wednesday.
Industry sources said the new deals will be worth an average of about $1 billion apiece to the NFL over the length of the contracts. That total of approximately $3 billion annually for the three deals is up from about $1.9 billion per year currently for the contracts with the three networks.
“These agreements underscore the NFL’s unique commitment to broadcast television that no other sport has,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in written statement. “The agreements would not have been possible without our new 10-year labor agreement and the players deserve great credit. Long-term labor peace is allowing the NFL to continue to grow and the biggest beneficiaries are the players and fans.”
According to the league’s announcement, the new TV deals “enable the NFL to expand” its package of Thursday night games on the league-owned NFL Network beginning next season. The league has not determined how many additional Thursday night games there will be, according to the announcement.
The NFL Network currently airs a package of Thursday and Saturday prime-time games in the second half of the season. There has been speculation that the league also will negotiate with other networks over an expanded Thursday night package in future seasons.
CBS, Fox and NBC will televise three Super Bowls each during the nine seasons covered by the contract extensions, according to the NFL’s announcement. NBC will air the prime-time game on Thanksgiving, until now carried by the NFL Network, beginning next season, according to the league. The league announced that flexible-scheduling provisions are to be expanded beginning in 2014, including the possibility of moving games between CBS and Fox.
NBC is to continue carrying the NFL’s season-opening game and weekly Sunday night games. CBS is to continue to air AFC games on Sunday afternoons and Fox is to continue to carry Sunday afternoon NFC games.