NFL Rights Deals: ViacomCBS Details New NFL Package; Paramount+ Streaming Rights Kick in Next Season

Maximized content creation, distribution, and reach are key goals

The National Football League and ViacomCBS announced today a new 11-year multiplatform rights agreement that extends CBS’s longstanding relationship with the league through the 2033 season. CBS Sports continues as the home of the NFL’s American Football Conference (AFC), featuring many of the game’s brightest young stars, with all games broadcast on the CBS Television Network and streamed live on Paramount+, ViacomCBS’s flagship streaming service. This historic agreement also grants an expansive list of NFL rights across ViacomCBS networks and platforms, enabling the company to maximize its content creation, distribution, and reach throughout the length of the deal.

The new agreement, which begins with the 2023 season, allows CBS Sports to broadcast and stream more Sunday-afternoon games than ever and also covers an expanded schedule of games featuring teams from the National Football Conference (NFC). In addition, the schedule is highlighted by 10 CBS doubleheaders, including the NFL’s most-watched window Sundays at 4:25 p.m. ET, eight single games, and the annual Thanksgiving Day game. CBS Sports will broadcast three Super Bowls over the length of the deal: Super Bowl LVIII in 2024, Super Bowl LXII in 2028, and Super Bowl LXVI in 2032.

The CBS Television Network and Paramount+ will also present a full slate of playoff games each season, featuring the AFC Championship game, one Divisional game, and one Wild Card game. A second Wild Card game will be added to the CBS Sports lineup during the 2024, 2029, and 2033 seasons.

ViacomCBS will retain its extensive in-market exclusivity, ensuring that the CBS-affiliated stations and ViacomCBS platforms will continue to be the source for local availability of The NFL on CBS. CBS will also gain increased rights to protect games from being flexed to other networks and time slots.

Paramount+ has been granted new and expanded rights, offering the flexibility to distribute NFL games on both the premium tier at $9.99 and the new $4.99 ad-supported tier that will debut in June. The rights begin with the 2021 season and extend the length of the new deal, to 2033.

“We are thrilled to extend and expand our long-term partnership with the NFL to create even more value for ViacomCBS and for NFL fans,” says Bob Bakish, president/CEO, ViacomCBS. “Today’s groundbreaking deal ensures that more big games will be available on CBS and Paramount+, with greater NFL programming opportunities featured across all ViacomCBS platforms, including Pluto TV, vastly expanding the NFL’s reach among younger audiences in a rapidly evolving media landscape. NFL football is both a pillar of CBS Sports and a huge differentiator for our streaming strategy, and our extensive partnership with the NFL will be fundamental to further driving growth and engagement on Paramount+ for years to come.”

Says CBS Entertainment Group President/CEO George Cheeks, “CBS’s NFL programming creates value for every one of our key constituents: our audience, advertisers, owned stations, and affiliates, as well as our pay-TV distribution partners. It is must-have content that stands above the crowd in a fragmented television universe. The NFL on CBS has been a vital part of our broadcasting business for decades, and it will be a powerful driver of our streaming success in the decade ahead. Our brands share a great history and a very exciting future together.”

CBS Sports Chairman Sean McManus explains, “The NFL has been a cornerstone of CBS Sports programming for more than 60 years. We are extremely pleased to extend our long-standing partnership with the NFL for the next decade. The NFL is the most valuable content in all of media, and we are excited that the deal allows for more Sunday-afternoon games than ever before, and we retain the NFL’s most-watched time slot. This wide-ranging deal includes significantly expanded rights, and we look forward to continued growth and to maximizing the enormous value of the NFL across all of our CBS Sports platforms.”

The landmark NFL-ViacomCBS agreement covers a wide array of expanded rights, ensuring that, as the media landscape evolves, the media company has extensive rights to innovate its content creation and distribution, reaching a variety of audiences across its various networks, properties, and platforms. The broad rights grant includes expanded rights across CBS’s digital and social platforms and the ability to implement interactive features for consumers on Paramount+ and via ViacomCBS’s distribution partners. The company also has the capability to collaborate with the NFL to create alternative game telecasts, similar to the highly acclaimed family-friendly Wild Card-game production on Nickelodeon this past January. Additionally, CBS has the opportunity to partner with the NFL for legalized–sports-betting applications.

ViacomCBS and the NFL have also agreed to long-term rights extensions for CBS Sports HQ, Pluto TV, and Inside the NFL, which will stream exclusively on Paramount+ beginning with the upcoming season.

CBS Sports began televising NFL regular-season games in 1956, and the upcoming season marks its 62nd season. The company had broadcast rights to the NFC package from 1970 through 1993 and began televising the AFC package in 1998.

The NFL has a one-time right to opt out of this long-term multiplatform rights agreement after the 2029 season.

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