NFL 2022: Major Plays On and Off the Field

The NFL business model for decades relied on simplicity to reach the most fans. For Sunday games, football sports fans could just flip on Fox or CBS.

Today there are no fewer than 20 ways to watch or listen to NFL games – 16 via streaming, cable or broadcast TV; three streaming or terrestrial radio and one app (NFL’s own): 

  • NFL+
  • Thursday Night Football exclusively on Amazon Prime
  • Sunday Night Football streaming live on Peacock
  • Paramount+ NFL on CBS broadcasts and “Inside the NFL”
  • FuboTV offering traditional broadcast channels (CBS, Fox, NBC, ESPN, NFL Network, RedZone, etc.
  • SlingTV access to ESPN, ABC, Fox, NFL Network, etc. (but not Amazon Thursday Night Football or games airing on CBS)
  • DirectTV Stream
  • Hulu + Live and YouTube TV access to all airing/streaming games with the exception of Amazon’s Thursday Night Football  

More options is a good thing for viewers (and advertisers), and sports continues to dominate TV viewership in 2022.  NFL games this season are already among the most-viewed programs of the year, with six games in the top 25 most-viewed shows, 15 in the top 50 and 17 in the top 75.

Behind-the-scenes big tech giants Apple, Google and Amazon are getting into professional sports because of the viewership numbers and the price tag set by the NFL is just too high for prior partners. The NFL has been seeking as much as $2.5 billion for rights to NFL Sunday Ticket, about $1 billion more than what it collects from its current provider, DirecTV.

Talks between the National Football League and Apple over a package of Sunday football games are dragging on over pricing, but they’ve added another deal: Apple will sponsor this year’s Super Bowl halftime show.

NFL’s Thursday Night Football moved from Fox to Amazon Prime Video,  Where Amazon delivered for their first NFL game of the season the highest 18-to-34 year old ratings for any NFL game to date. Young adults continue to be an important target for advertisers, as they’ve mostly migrated from linear to streaming TV.

But how do advertisers measure sports viewership now if not on broadcast or cable? Amazon and Nielsen announced a three-year agreement to measure the audience of Thursday Night Football that is similar to ratings of NFL games on broadcast and cable television. This is the first time a streaming program will be measured by Nielsen’s National TV service.

It’s a lot to keep up with. That’s where the digital media pros at Brkthru make your life easier – by following the changes and trends, and reaching sports fans wherever they’re watching.