Netflix is ​​working with NFL Christmas games

Christmas may have come early for Netflix.

The NFL is considering the streaming giant’s request to hold two football games on December 25, which falls on a Wednesday this year. The matches will be the first major sporting events in the professional league to be broadcast by the live streaming giant.

An NFL representative had no comment. But a person familiar with the discussions said the league is still considering the offer.

One question is whether showing the games on a streaming device rather than on TV will limit the impact on fans.

Netflix has approximately 83 million subscribers in the United States and Canada. The number of customers who take advantage of the lowest level of ad exposure represents a small fraction of this total.

One of the reasons Netflix wants to acquire the NFL is so it can help build its advertising business. Netflix plans to make a presentation to advertisers next week in New York.

The NFL’s existing television partners, which pay a total of $11 billion in annual fees, have been asked to broadcast the games, according to two people familiar with the talks.

The fact that the NFL could pull two games from existing NFL packages and ask media partners to pay for them again because they are played on weekends outside of the regular Thursday, Sunday and Monday night schedules shows the league’s influence. Ratings for NFL games are higher than anything else on television.

Buck was the first to report that Netflix was involved in the process.

Christmas Day has long been the domain of NBA sports, with games scheduled on ABC. But the NFL has been happy enough with the ratings performance of Christmas Day games in recent years to make them part of the schedule for the 2024-25 season.

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Over time, Netflix has invested more in sports-related content.

Earlier this year, Netflix said it would become the home of WWE Raw starting in January 2025 and announced it would host live boxing matches, including with YouTubers and professional boxers Jake Paul and Mike Tyson in July. Other live sporting events streamed on Netflix include exhibition tennis matches and golf tournaments.

“We believe these types of cultural moments, like Jake Paul and Mike Tyson Faith, are exactly the kind of television we want to share with our members,” said Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos. – CEO, in presenting last month’s results.

Netflix co-CEO Greg Peters said these types of cultural activities also apply to advertisers suing.

“So this is an opportunity for us to expand our advertising offerings and give those brands access to these types of cultural moments,” Peters said in an earnings presentation in April.

In addition to hosting live events, Netflix has also built a following for its sports documentaries.

The company’s North Star “is working to increase engagement, revenue and profitability,” Sarandos said in an earnings presentation.

“So when those opportunities arise where we can come in and do what we felt we did in our deal with WWE, if we can replicate that dynamic and other things, including sports, we will certainly consider it,” Sarandos said.

WWE and Netflix say “Raw” is the top show on the US network, with 17.5 million unique viewers tuning in during the year.

According to WWE Holdings TKO’s filing with the SEC, the deal is worth more than $5 billion in total rights payments over the first 10 years, with an option to extend the contract from Netflix.

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Terry Alexander

"Award-winning music trailblazer. Gamer. Lifelong alcohol enthusiast. Thinker. Passionate analyst."

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