The NFL Signs TV Deals Worth $27 Billion

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The NFL Signs TV Deals Worth $27 Billion
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English: Tim Tebow, a player on the Denver Bro...

The NFL's gravy train rolls on: today it announced nine-year extensions to its broadcast television packages with Fox, NBC and CBS under which the networks are expected to pay roughly 60% more. The new agreements will run through the 2022 season as the current deals expire after the 2013 season.

Each network gets the rights to three Super Bowls and NBC maintains its flexible schedule on Sunday nights during the second half of the season. NBC will also add the Thanksgiving primetime game starting in 2014.

Financial terms have not been released, but the three networks are expected to pay roughly $3 billion a year on average annually compared to the current $1.93 billion they collectively pay. ESPN re-upped its deal with the NFL earlier this year at an annual rate of $1.9 billion. Factor in other media deals with the NFL Network, DirectTV ($1 billion annually), Westwood One radio and others, and NFL teams will divvy up nearly $7 billion in media money starting in 2014. That is more than $200 million per team every year before one ticket, beer or jersey is sold.

The NFL's new 10-year labor agreement and increased TV rights deals are the reason that NFL teams are worth $1.04 billion on average or twice as much as the average MLB team and three times what NBA teams command.

The TV pacts will test the balance sheets of CBS, News Corp-owned Fox and NBC (owned by Comcast and General Electric), but the networks realize that there is a dwindling amount of must-see live programming. And the NFL is still the king when it comes to delivering an audience. The Super Bowl last year drew a record audience of 111 million people. NFL games represent 23 of the 25 most-watched TV programs this fall and they attract twice as many average viewers as broadcast primetime shows.

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