Recently the NFL struck several deals to make NFL games streaming only. The first one was Amazon’s deal to stream Thursday Night Football to Amazon Prime members. Now Peacock has a deal to stream an exclusive NFL Playoff game.
Now it is being reported that the NFL sees the Peacock deal as a test run by Jim Trotter, a reporter for The Athletic.
According to reports, Peacock is paying $110 million for the rights to stream one NFL playoff game as an exclusive. If this goes well, you can easily see ESPN+, Paramount+, and other services lining up to get their own exclusive to help drive up subscribers.
It is also being reported that the NFL wants to look at other options when Amazon’s Thursday Night NFL games deal ends. Having more bidders to stream Thursday Night games could help drive up the price of these games Amazon is willing to pay.
Increasingly sports leagues are looking to streaming as the future. Not only to bring in more money but also to attract a younger group of viewers who can be the next generation of sports fans. The MLB and NBA have both been pushing to find ways to offer their games streaming online. For now, though, it seems that we are far from a world where you subscribe directly to a league to watch all of the games.
It is not just leagues that want to go streaming only. This week it was reported that Disney is busy preparing plans to off ESPN directly to consumers as a streaming service. Now thanks to a Disney project code-named ‘Flagship,’ Disney staff are actively working on turning ESPN into a streaming service. Exactly how that will work is still unknown.
If ESPN pulls out of cable TV and more NFL games become streaming only it is easy to see how this will put growing pressure of cable TV and help speed up the growth of cord cutting.