Netflix inks deal to broadcast its first-ever live NFL games on Christmas Day

May 15, 2024
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Netflix will broadcast its first-ever live NFL games on Christmas Day this December.

The streaming giant announced Wednesday that it will feature both Dec. 25 matchups slated for this year, with at least one other Christmas game coming in 2025 and 2026.

“Last year, we decided to take a big bet on live — tapping into massive fandoms across comedy, reality TV, sports and more,” said Bela Bajaria, Netflix chief content officer, in a statement. “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.”

The announcement is a seismic moment in the media landscape, bringing together the biggest streaming platform and the most lucrative U.S. sports league. Terms of the deal were not made public.

The NFL has not yet announced which four teams will be playing on the holiday. The 2024 season matchups are being revealed throughout the day.

“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, in a statement. “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 Christmas 2024 games will also air on broadcast TV in the competing teams’ cities, and will also be available on mobile devices via NFL+.

Netflix has been working to break into live sports, though so far has only hosted one-off events in tennis, golf and an upcoming boxing match between Mike Tyson and YouTube star Jake Paul. And starting in January 2025, it will be home to WWE’s weekly “Raw” series.

But the NFL games signal Netflix is willing to pay big money to land what remains the most consistent ratings driver in America.

It also continues Netflix’s push into overall live broadcasting. In the last month, the streaming giant “aired” a live Tom Brady Roast, as well as its six-part live comedy special “John Mulaney Presents: Everybody’s in L.A.”

The announcement also signals an expansion of the large roster of entities now broadcasting professional football, a list that also includes Amazon, which maintains exclusive rights to all Thursday night games; NBCUniversal’s Peacock, which exclusively hosted a playoff game last year and is now set to show the league’s first-ever game in Brazil on Sept. 6; as well as traditional partners Fox, CBS, and NBC. NBCUniversal is the parent company of NBC and NBC News.



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