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Netflix to air live NFL games for first time

By AFP

May 16, 2024 12:10 AM


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Netflix will broadcast two National Football League games next season for the first time in a landmark move that comes as the streaming giant bolsters its portfolio of sports-based programming, the network and the NFL announced on Wednesday.

The NFL said Netflix will screen the league's two prestigious Christmas Day games in 2024 and would also air at least one game at the same time in the 2025 and 2026 seasons.

"Last year, we decided to take a big bet on live — tapping into massive fandoms across comedy, reality TV, sports and more," Netflix chief content officer Bela Bajaria said in a statement.

"There are no live annual events, sports or otherwise, that compare with the audiences NFL football attracts. We're so excited that the NFL's Christmas Day games will be only on Netflix."

Multiple sports, notably Formula One, tennis, golf and rugby union, have been spotlighted by fly-on-the-wall style series shown on Netflix.

However the streaming network has offered only limited live sports events coverage, with one-off exhibition events in tennis and golf, and the upcoming July 20 heavyweight boxing bout between Mike Tyson and YouTuber Jake Paul.

Netflix also aired the successful NFL reality series "Quarterback", and will follow that up this year with "Receiver", which follows the fortunes of five star NFL pass-catchers.

The NFL meanwhile has increasingly sought to broaden its reach through streaming networks, and already airs games on Amazon as well as NBC's streaming platform Peacock.

"We couldn't be more excited to be the first professional sports league to partner with Netflix to bring live games to fans around the world," Hans Schroeder, NFL executive vice president of media distribution, said in a statement.

"The NFL on Christmas has become a tradition and to partner with Netflix, a service whose biggest day of the year is typically this holiday, is the perfect combination to grow this event globally for NFL fans."

The exact fixtures taking place on Christmas Day next season will be revealed later Wednesday when the NFL unveils its season schedule.

The Christmas games will be aired on traditional television in the cities of the competing teams as well as the NFL's mobile app, but otherwise can only be seen on Netflix.

Terms of the Netflix deal were not revealed.


AFP


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