NFL seeks to double TV costs despite falling regular season ratings – Deadline

The National Football League has had a declining year, in terms of ratings, but it wants to double the fees it collects to allow its current network partners to broadcast matches.

CNBC Reports Discussions about renewal rates are underway with the league’s four existing network partners – Disney-owned NBC, CBS, Fox and ESPN, according to people familiar with the matter. So far, according to CNBC, Disney is pushing back the increased renewal fees.

The NFL league year begins on March 1, giving the parties about a month to strike a deal. The league had few fans in attendance for its games this year, due to the pandemic, and has also seen regular season TV ratings drop 7%, according to Nielsen. This makes it imperative to close the income gaps.

Disney pays more than NBC, CBS and Fox for its Monday Night Football package, paying $ 1.9 billion a year for its rights, CNBC reported. This agreement runs until 2021 and includes other co-branding opportunities.

Fox pays $ 1.1 billion, CBS $ 1 billion and NBC $ 960 million for Sunday night football.

Disney CEO Bob Chapek reportedly hinted at the NFL asking price last week on his company’s earnings conference call.

“We are looking at long term trends in the sports audience”, Chapek said February 11. “We’ve had a long relationship with the NFL. If there is a deal that will increase shareholder value, we will certainly consider it and review it. But our first filter will be whether this makes sense for shareholder value in the future. “

While NFL games remain popular attractions compared to other TV shows, there have been some bumps in the road during the season, culminating with Super Bowl LV being the least watched Super Bowl in the world. recent history. It was, however, the most-watched show of 2021 so far.

Forbes reported earlier than 2020, viewership for 17-week NFL regular-season games plummeted on all broadcast and cable networks. The 2020 regular season attracted an average of 15.4 million viewers (live + same day), a decrease of 7% from the previous regular season. It was the lowest average audience since 2017.

NFL and networks spokespersons declined to comment on the CNBC report.

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