Here’s why one NFL owner doesn’t think league will have more streaming and less games on broadcast TV


ORLANDO, Fla. — The NFL has embarked in the streaming revolution over the last few seasons. The league had its first playoff game exclusively to streaming and it was a tremendous success, prompting the league to have a playoff game exclusively on a streaming service every year.
This comes on the same year there was an exclusive regular season game on Peacock and a new “Black Friday” game on Amazon in addition to having the entire “Thursday Night Football” package on Amazon and an international game exclusively on ESPN+.
Games exclusively to streaming have grown around the NFL, as the first international game for the 2024 season between the Philadelphia Eagles and an unnamed opponent will be on Peacock. This is the first international game in Brazil and the league iis banking on new subscribers to watch football on a Friday night on the first week of the season.
As the streaming population is growing and more NFL inventory is being placed on a streaming service, Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie doesn’t see a significant amount of games getting taken off broadcast television. The NFL’s bread and butter is being over-the-air.
“I don’t see it more and more, but what I do see is population embraces streaming in certain ways, tremendously,” Lurie said at the NFL Annual Meetings this week. “So technically it was the wild-card game on Peacock that was a huge success. I think they had 21, 22 million viewers, technologically it was excellent. And so it’s also a younger demographic.
“The NFL like other sports leagues but we’re proactive when itself comes to demographics, we want to be younger at times, streamers and Amazons have the ability to deliver younger audiences. The beauty of NFL is most of it is on free television and it’s going to remain that way a long, long time, that’s the basis of the popularity of the NFL.”
Under the NFL’s current contract, the league has an all-digital package with “Thursday Night Football” with Amazon, an exclusive game on ESPN+ and an exclusive game on Peacock. CBS games are also simulcast on Paramount+, NBC games are simulcast on Peacock, and ESPN/ABC games are also simulcast on ESPN+. Amazon added the exclusive “Black Friday” game and a wild card playoff game over the past year, as part of the growing inventory of streaming.
With 23 million tuning into a wild card playoff game, the NFL will milk the streaming cow as long as it can. Lurie doesn’t want fans to be concerned the league will have a bulk of its inventory on streaming.
“I wouldn’t want anyone to think — it’s just another way to go to expand distribution of games,” Lurie said. “But the bulwark of NFL games are free and direct access for all consumers.”


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