Netflix Teams Up with NFL for Live Christmas Day Football Streaming

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In a ground-breaking three-year agreement announced on Wednesday, Netflix and the National Football League have teamed up to usher in a new era of sports entertainment. Fans will be now able tune into the online streaming titan on Christmas Day to kick back and enjoy the thrill of live football games. Scheduled to host two games in 2024, and at least one in each of the 2025 and 2026 seasons, Netflix is taking its programming up a notch, literally scoring touchdowns in the realm of sports streaming.

The inaugural streaming session unveils with a heart-thumping clash between defending Super Bowl titans, Kansas City, and football veterans, Pittsburgh. Followers will then be treated to a potentially electrifying match between Baltimore and Houston.

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Ever since the NFL’s football exhibition on Christmas Day back in 1971, only a total of 30 games have been broadcasted on this special day, with three games just the previous year. However, this year marks an inflection point as the NFL has decided to deviate from its tradition of avoiding midweek games.

Formerly presented at a team owners’ meeting in March, Hans Schroeder, the executive vice president of NFL Media, struck upon the ingenious plan to host the Week 16 games on Saturday. This modified scheduling allows teams the same amount of prep time as they usually enjoy between Sunday and Thursday. Convinced by the strategy, team owners gave the nod of approval, paving the way for Netflix to step into the field.

Discussing the collaboration, Schroeder said, “We had a broad process and talked to a number of potential parties and ultimately thought Netflix was the one,” He excitedly remarked how this was the first truly global rights deal within the sports world, expressing enthusiasm over what they can learn from the venture and the thrill of offering fans worldwide the opportunity to enjoy games on a single, universally accessible platform.

Netflix is certainly no stranger to the NFL, having already been airing NFL-based programs such as “Quarterback,” and also hosting a live-stream of the uproarious Tom Brady roast in early May. Sporting enthusiasts will also be regaled by a ten-part documentary series on Jerry Jones and his ownership of the Dallas Cowboys to occur later in the year.

While Netflix’s venture into live sports only kicked-off last year with an array of exhibition events in golf and tennis, the company has already lined up an exciting roster of events, including a highly anticipated boxing match this July between ex-heavyweight champion Mike Tyson and internet personality Jake Paul. Furthermore, next year will introduce the World Wrestling Entertainment’s flagship show, “Raw,” to its growing sports portfolio.

Bela Bajaria, Netflix’s chief content officer, articulated the company’s enthusiasm for the undertaking, stating, “People love football and we do, too. We’re excited about having the NFL conversation around Christmas Day.”

As the announcement rings in a new form of entertainment for the holidays, speculations continue to swirl over who Netflix will bring on to host and produce the doubleheader. What’s truly at stake, however, is how the shift from televised broadcasting to online streaming will reflect on the ratings, as Christmas games have previously drawn in large audiences.

David Berson, CBS Sports CEO and President, however, remains unfazed – if not gleeful – about Netflix’s entrance into the ring, celebrating the increased interest in the NFL.

Despite a few critiques over increasing the number of games slotted for streaming, NFL fans remain loyal. With the “Thursday Night Football” package on Prime Video bringing in an average of 11.86 million viewers, a surge of 24% over the previous year, and the Miami Dolphins vs Kansas City Chiefs game attracting a record 23 million views, it’s clear that streaming services can bear the weight of such high-stakes games.

Stressing the significance of the deal, Shroeder voiced NFL’s commitment to reaching their fans on emerging platforms while revealing their excitement at partnering with Netflix. As part of the NFL’s policy, Christmas games on Netflix will be broadcasted on TV in the home cities of the competing teams and made available on mobile devices in the U.S. with NFL+.

This endeavor heralds an exciting era for fans and the world of sports entertainment, marking another stride into the modern world by an age-old American staple.