NBCUniversal agreed Wednesday to a new and extensive media rights agreement to extend its NFL rights package through the 2022 season. The new agreement includes many enhancements that broaden the exposure of NFL content on NBC, and across other NBCUniversal platforms.
"This is a great day for NBCUniversal and the NBC Sports Group," said Steve Burke, CEO, NBCUniversal. "There is no more powerful programming on television than the NFL and no better program than Sunday Night Football. The long-term agreement announced today provides us with significant enhancements to our existing NFL package, ensures that we will continue our partnership with the NFL for many years, and adds tremendous value to the many assets of NBCUniversal. We could not be more pleased."
"Sunday Night Football on NBC is the most-watched program on primetime television, and we're excited to continue our long-term partnership with the NFL," said Mark Lazarus, Chairman, NBC Sports Group. "The new primetime Thanksgiving game starting in 2012, the upgraded playoff package and the three Super Bowls are all major enhancements to our new agreement. The additional digital and programming rights add tremendous value to the NBC Sports Group portfolio."
The NFL also renewed its television deals with CBS and Fox through the 2022 season.
The current contracts expire after the 2013 season.
The league also said Wednesday it would expand the number of Thursday night games on NFL Network but had not determined how many additional contests would be aired.
The league had already extended its deal with ESPN for Monday night games.
"These agreements underscore the NFL's unique commitment to broadcast television that no other sport has," Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a 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."
NBC's new and extensive media rights agreement includes many enhancements vs. the previous agreement:
(Beginning with the new agreement in 2014 except where noted in bold)
- NBC will annually broadcast a primetime game on Thanksgiving night beginning in 2012;
- Upgraded playoff coverage, exchanging one of its current wild card games for a Divisional playoff game;
- In addition to the 2012 Super Bowl, NBC will broadcast the 2015, 2018 and 2021 Super Bowls;
- Enhanced flexible scheduling;
- Expanded digital rights, including "TV Everywhere" rights;
- Spanish language rights so that games could be shown on Telemundo, mun2 or with an SAP feed.
NBC will now broadcast 19 regular-season games including 17 regular-season Sunday Night Football games, each season's opening NFL Kickoff Thursday night primetime game and the new Thanksgiving night game, and two playoff games (one wild card game and one Divisional game). NBC's original Sunday Night Football agreement, which began in 2006, included 17 regular season games. It was increased to 18 in 2010.
The nine-year terms are the longest for NFL television agreements with over-the-air broadcast networks. The previous longest were the eight-year deals with CBS, Fox and ABC from 1998-2005.
Sunday Night Football, the most-watched primetime show of the fall television season for the second straight year, is preceded each week at 7 p.m. ET by the critically acclaimed Football Night in America, which provides comprehensive highlights and analysis of the day's events in the NFL, along with a preview of that night's Sunday Night Football contest.
The original six-year Sunday Night Football agreement between NBC Sports and the NFL started with the 2006 season and ran through the 2011 season. The current agreement, which was extended in 2009, expires after the 2013 season.