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The NFL Paramount Deal Sweetener

patrick mahomes nfl
Every time we think we’ve reached the apex value of NFL rights, it seems, we have yet further to climb. Photo: Cooper Neill/Getty Images
John Ourand
April 4, 2024

The NFL just wrapped the first year of its blockbuster, 11-year, $110 billion media deal package, and incredibly, it’s starting to look like those rights are undervalued. Consider, for a moment, that NBC paid $110 million for the single wild card playoff game that it aired on Peacock in January. Sources tell me that NBC actually made money off that deal. Also consider that Amazon turned around and spent a whopping $150 million on a single wild card playoff game next season. That’s a 36 percent increase year-over-year for a game that last year featured a memorable frozen mustache, cringe-inducing frostbite, and, yes, the eventual Super Bowl champion. 

Every time we think we’ve reached the apex value of NFL rights, it seems, we have yet further to climb. The league, after all, operates on measured scarcity—there are 17 regular season games (with an 18th likely coming, as I’ve reported), three rounds of playoffs, and one Super Bowl. And yet the NFL completely dominates at least one full media day each week for more than five months. From an investing perspective, it’s a phenomenal asset. It’s also perhaps the final ballast for linear television, as readers of The Varsity know all too well. In 2023, for example, NFL games accounted for 93 of the 100 most-watched programs on television.