NFL Expands Digital Distribution, Rep Says Sunday Ticket Will Stay with DirecTV

The NFL has announced new long-term media distribution deals with Amazon, CBS, ESPN/ABC, FOX, and NBC. The new agreements will begin with the 2023 season and will run through the 2033 season.

While some reports have said that ESPN+ will take rights to Sunday Ticket from AT&T’s DirecTV, a rep for the NFL is saying that isn’t the case. As we’ve previously reported, ESPN+ is one of several services interested in Sunday Ticket when the DirecTV deal is up, but it looks like there will be no change for now.

The following agreements were announced by the NFL today:

Amazon: In the NFL’s first ever all-digital package, Amazon Prime Video has acquired the rights to be the exclusive home of Thursday Night Football across hundreds of compatible digital devices. The NFL and Amazon first partnered on Thursday Night Football as part of a Tri-Cast distribution model during the 2017 season.

CBS: With its new multi-platform agreement, CBS retains the rights for the American Football Conference (AFC) package of Sunday afternoon games. All games will be broadcast on the CBS Television Network and streamed live on Paramount+, ViacomCBS’ flagship streaming service. CBS, America’s most-watched network for the past 12-years, is the NFL’s longest-running media partner having first begun televising NFL games in 1956.

ESPN: ESPN will continue to be the NFL’s television partner for cable’s most-watched series, Monday Night Football. Additionally, ABC has acquired the rights to televise two Super Bowls along with exclusive regular season games. ESPN+ subscribers can stream one International Series game on an exclusive national basis every season and the new agreement allows ESPN the opportunity to simulcast all ABC and ESPN games on ESPN+. The new agreement for ESPN covers 11 years, including a 10-year deal beginning in 2023 and a bridge year deal in 2022. 

FOX: FOX has renewed its agreement to produce the National Football Conference (NFC) package of Sunday afternoon games that it acquired in 1994. FOX expanded its digital rights, including for its AVOD streaming platform Tubi to deliver NFL programming on digital platforms. America’s Game of the Week has been the most-watched show in all of television for the last 12 seasons and the most-watched NFL window for the last 20 seasons.

NBC: Sunday Night Football, the #1 Primetime show on TV for an unprecedented 10th consecutive year, will continue to be produced by NBC Sports. In addition to simulcasting all Sunday Night Football games, Peacock, NBCUniversal’s streaming service, will deliver an exclusive feed of a select number of NFL games over the course of the agreement. NBC first acquired its package of primetime games in 2006.

NFL Network, the television home of the NFL, will continue to televise a select schedule of exclusive NFL games on a yearly basis.