Rich NFL deals will drive more cord cutting for MVPDs: analyst

NFL
The NFL recently renewed deals with ABC, Amazon, CBS, NBC and Fox. (Josh Hallett/Flickr)

The latest round of lucrative NFL rights renewals with programmers will likely lead to a rise in cord cutting for both MVPDs and virtual MVPDs.

Deana Myers, research director at Kagan, broke down the new agreements with ABC, Amazon, ESPN, CBS, Fox and NBC, which her firm estimates are worth more than $107 billion all told. She said that programming costs are sure to rise from this, in terms of both affiliate and retransmission fees.

“These costs will, in turn, be funneled to [pay TV] customers and, as we have seen, costs can be a problem. Many consumers have cut the cord over pricing and that is likely to continue if the price of TV packages rise further,” Myers said during this week’s Stream TV Sports Summit.

Kagan believes that consumers will either shop around for less expensive pay TV packages or just opt for streaming services that will carry NFL games.

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Beginning with the 2023 season and running through 2033, Amazon Prime Video will be the only place to watch Thursday Night Football in what the NFL called its first all-digital package. Amazon Prime Video has been streaming NFL games since 2017 but within a tri-cast model it shared with broadcast partners like Fox.

The NFL distribution deals with traditional broadcasters and cable networks also all have streaming components built in.

CBS retained rights for all AFC Sunday afternoon games and all those games will be broadcast on the CBS Television Network and streamed live on Paramount+. ESPN+ subscribers will be able to stream one International Series game on an exclusive national basis every season and the new agreement allows ESPN the opportunity to simulcast all ABC and ESPN games on ESPN+. FOX expanded its digital rights so its AVOD streaming platform Tubi can deliver NFL programming on digital platforms. In addition to simulcasting all Sunday Night Football games, Peacock, NBCUniversal's streaming service, will deliver an exclusive feed of a select number of NFL games over the course of the agreement.