July 21, 2024

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Netflix needs NFL Christmas games broadcast partner

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Brock Purdy #13 of the San Francisco 49ers prepares to take a snap in the first quarter against the Kansas City Chiefs0 during Super Bowl LVIII at Allegiant Stadium on February 11, 2024 in Las Vegas, Nevada. 

Michael Reaves | Getty Images

Netflix is trying to get ready for some football.

The streaming giant has been reaching out to broadcasters this week in the hopes of finding a partner to produce the NFL games it will air on Christmas Day this year, according to people familiar with the matter. Netflix will show two games on Christmas Day this year, followed by at least one matchup in both 2025 and 2026, the company announced last month.

This is Netflix’s first real foray into traditional live sports, driven by the company’s ambitions to grow its advertising tier. The company signed a deal earlier this year with WWE to be the home for its live “Raw” events, but Netflix dubbed that deal as “sports entertainment.” Unlike WWE, Netflix’s deal for Christmas NFL games doesn’t come with a full production team. That’s left the streamer looking for help.

Netflix has been in touch with the broadcasters that currently air NFL games, including Disney’s ESPN, Comcast’s NBCUniversal and Paramount Global’s CBS Sports, said the people familiar, who asked not to be named because the discussions have been private. Disney won’t produce the games because it already has college football obligations the same day, two of the people said.

In-depth discussions haven’t begun with the other broadcasters, but Netflix’s options may be somewhat limited.

Fox and CBS Sports already produce various games in different regions each week, which could make taking on additional games for Netflix a burden, some of the people said.

There’s also competition to consider.

Amazon inked a deal with NBCUniversal to produce its NFL games before its first season of “Thursday Night Football” in 2022, but there may be more resistance among current NFL partners to help out Netflix, according to people familiar with…



2024-06-13 14:47:05

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