Updated: Mar 19
(Photo by Icon Sportswire/Getty Images)
The NFL announced a new mega-deal today with media partners Amazon, CBS, ESPN/ABC, FOX and NBC for the distribution of NFL games, as well as additional media rights.
The new agreements will begin with the 2023 season and run through the 2033 season.
"These new media deals will provide our fans even greater access to the games they love. We're proud to grow our partnerships with the most innovative media companies in the market," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement. "Along with our recently completed labor agreement with the NFLPA, these distribution agreements bring an unprecedented era of stability to the League and will permit us to continue to grow and improve our game."
With the new deal, the Super Bowl will return to ABC for the first time since 2006, which just so happened to be when the Steelers beat the Seahawks 21-10 in Super Bowl XL.
CBS keeps their package with the AFC and gets the Super Bowl in 2023, 2027 and 2031. Likewise for FOX keeping their package with the NFL and will get the Super Bowl in 2024, 2028 and 2032. NBC keeps Sunday Night Football and will get the Super Bowl in 2025, 2029 and 2033. ESPN and Monday Night Football incorporates ABC and will get the Super Bowl in 2026 and 2030. Amazon also is rewarded Thursday Night Football.
Here are the viewership numbers from over the last five years. The NFL just continues to grow at an incredible rate.
Also in the agreement, starting in the 2023 season, ESPN will televise an annual Divisional Round game, in addition to the existing Wild Card game. MNF games will also now be eligible to be flex for Week 12 and beyond.
The NFL will nearly double its media revenue to more than $10 billion a season under the new rights agreements, according to Joe Reedy of the Associated Press.
The new deal is great for the league and fans, but I'm sure NFL teams and players are happy about it too, as the salary-cap should be boosted tremendously next year because of the agreement.
The cap is down almost $16 million this year from 2020 -- $198.2 million to $182.5 million -- because of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has left many teams cahs-strapped this year. The Steelers are one of many, as they currently only have $3.6 million in cap space, according to Overthecap.com.
Dale Lolley of DK Pittsburgh Sports expects the cap to be somewhere north of $210 million next year because of the new TV deal. That would be great news for the Steelers, as they're projected to have over $120 million in cap space next year with an estimated cap limit of $203 million, which is the most in the league, per Overthecap.com. Only 21 players are accounted for next year, however, as a lot of players contracts run out after this season. The Steelers will also have to sign big checks for T.J. Watt and Minkah Fitzpatrick soon. Regardless, the Steelers should be in pretty good shape cap-wise in 2022.