NFL wants to finalize new TV deals before setting 2021 salary cap in March

Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Tom Brady in action in Huge Bowl LV, February 7, 2021.

Brian Snyder | Reuters

The Huge Bowl is total, and the National Football League is wasting no time shifting consideration to its high income circulation: media rights.

The NFL is taking a scrutinize to finalize frameworks of most modern TV rights agreements within the following couple of weeks and wants to hold so before setting the 2021 wage cap pick in March, in accordance to folks with knowledge of the ache.

The oldsters asked now not to be identified as they manufacture now not seem like allowed to notify publicly about league affairs.

Community partners Fox, ViacomCBS, NBC and Disney‘s ESPN pay the league roughly $6 billion per year, with AT&T-owned DirecTV adding one other $1.5 billion for the Sunday Designate package deal. It is been widely rumored the next settlement could attain $100 billion thru a 10-year deal. Other alternate choices embrace a seven-year deal at $14 billion per year or an eight-year deal at $12 billion per year.

Working within the NFL’s desire is a recent 10-year labor settlement reached final year with the NFL Players Affiliation (NFLPA), extra postseason contests and a 17-sport typical-season time table, which the league is planning to implement subsequent season. Hence, with the additional video games added, the NFL wants its rate.

The NFL declined to observation.

Applications are expected to stay identical, with Fox and CBS keeping Sunday afternoon video games and NBC maintaining on to its Sunday Night Football package deal.

But ESPN is the wildcard.

ESPN+ is a contender to replace DirecTV for the NFL’s Sunday Designate package deal, CNBC reported final year, and Disney also wants to be part of the Huge Bowl rotation. That manner it will add video games to its ABC network.

One of many individuals urged part of the holdup to finalizing a recent settlement is the NFL discovering a recent house for the Thursday Night Football package deal, which Fox at this time holds but could topple the deal when it ends in 2023.

There is hypothesis a streaming service equivalent to Amazon could inform on the package deal. But with Fox, CBS and NBC now now not drawn to simulcasting the sport on a third-event streaming service, Amazon would must search out one other accomplice to hold the sport.

There is a possibility that ESPN could bewitch on the Thursday Night Football sport and air the sport on ABC. But that would mean serving to a rival streaming service as it tries to grow its appreciate ESPN+ offering.

Amazon renewed its settlement with the NFL final April. Its most new package deal included persevered streaming of Thursday Night Football and exclusively showing a national typical-season sport on the firm’s Prime Video and Twitch platforms. Amazon streamed the San Francisco 49ers-Arizona Cardinals contest in Week 16 exclusively, exterior of group markets. CBS produced the sport.

Two of the oldsters acknowledged the entire media rights affords would’ve been finalized in December had the Thursday package deal been resolved.

ESPN, NBC, CBS and Fox Sports declined observation.

On this Oct. 4, 2020 file photo is an empty Levi’s Stadium before an NFL football sport.

Tony Avelar | AP

Fewer preseason video games?

The NFL is at this time calculating losses for the year, with its clubs submitting financial info for the 2020 season, in accordance to 1 of the oldsters.

The NFLPA will then overview income experiences because the 2 facets negotiate a recent wage cap for the 2021 season. The NFL could hold a $4 billion loss among its clubs because of Covid-19 combating beefy stadiums.

The 2020 wage cap turn out to be roughly $198 million per group. Wage cap prognosis web situation estimated the 2021 cap quantity would attain $180 million. One of many folks urged $185 million would be the amount, but either manner, this could mark the first wage cap lower since 2011. But that cap is projected to skyrocket to over $200 million for the 2022 season.

As of now, a recent cap pick must be in spot by March 17.

As soon as contemporary media agreements closing, there is hypothesis the NFL could bewitch away two preseason video games as it inserts the additional typical-season sport. Must accumulated the league add a 17th sport, at the least one preseason sport could be removed in accordance to the contemporary collective bargaining settlement.

With gamers proving for the length of the pandemic season they are going to put in conjunction with regards to, and without a preseason, NFLPA president J.C. Tretter has called for less place on and scoot for the length of the year.

“We had no offseason practices, fewer practising camp practices, and no preseason video games. While some feared that those changes would lead to a sloppy 2020 NFL season, our collective stage of play at some point soon of the league has in truth never been better,” Tretter wrote in December.

“I deem the changes applied this season have demonstrated that we are able to place an tantalizing product out on the field while additional cutting back place on and scoot on our gamers’ bodies,” he added.

In 2019, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell also supported a shorter preseason.

“I’m now not obvious, speaking with coaches, that four preseason video games is obligatory any further to acquire ready for a season to have gamers, produce gamers,” he acknowledged, thru The Associated Press. “There are more than just a few ways of doing that, and we have had lots of discussions about that.”

Disclosure: NBCUniversal is the father or mother firm of CNBC.

CNBC’s Alex Sherman contributed to this report.

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