The NFL has long been known as the most valuable and popular sports league in the United States, with high-rated programming and expensive advertising time. In 2021, the league signed media deals worth $110 billion, covering 11 years, nearly double the value of its previous deals.

During the 2023 regular season, an average of nearly 18 million people watched football games across TV and digital platforms, making it the most since 2015 and the second most ever. The Super Bowl is still the pinnacle of the NFL’s popularity, being one of the biggest televised events of the year. Nielsen reports that of the 30 most-watched shows of all time in the US, 22 were Super Bowl games.

The NFL’s move to ESPN in the late 1980s helped boost cable television. Now, as it leaps into streaming, it is having a ripple effect on both media and technology landscape. “Media accounts for 60 percent of our revenue,” said Robert Kraft, principal owner of New England Patriots. “If we don’t stay current and adapt to changing times then we will have a real problem.” With tech giants Alphabet and Amazon acquiring digital rights to NFL games along with NBCUniversal’s Peacock launching a sports-friendly streaming service it is clear that streaming is poised to be the NFL’s next frontier despite some backlash from fans.

“We are going to continue to lean on digital but do it in a fan-friendly way,” Brian Rolap told CNBC. “It will be crucial to deliver as much football as possible to as many people as possible.” To learn more about how streaming is transforming the NFL watch this documentary. Disclosure: NBCUniversal is parent company of Peacock and CNBC.

By Editor

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