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May 16, 2024 5:58 pm

Netflix, NFL unwrap football for Christmas through 2026

NFL

Treading further into territory once reserved for NBA broadcasts, the NFL plans to continue airing games on Christmas Day beyond the 2024 doubleheader on Netflix announced on Wednesday.

NFL Vice President of Media Hans Schroeder said Thursday the league already has outlined plans for Christmas games in 2025 and 2026. Since Christmas is on a Saturday in 2027, it’s a near certainty regular-season games will be played that day, too.

“Amazon will have their traditional Thursday night game in primetime on Christmas on Thursday next year, and we’ll have another game on Netflix in the afternoon,” Schroeder said on a conference call discussing the league schedule for the 2024 season released Wednesday.

“Netflix will have a game on Friday the year after that (2026). We’ll use how we think about ’25 to form how we go into ’26.”

With Christmas falling on a Wednesday in 2024, the four teams involved were scheduled for Saturday games the week before to emulate the Saturday-to-Thursday game week schedule.

Traditionally, the NBA is the only game competing for airtime with a scarce sports broadcast schedule on Christmas Day. After ratings showed sincere interest from fans in Christmas games in 2023, the NFL claims it decided to commit to more in future seasons.

All three games had more than 27 million viewers according to Nielsen, ratings that piqued the interest of the NFL. The games were peeled out of the full network broadcast agreements and Netflix reportedly bid $75 million for each of its three holiday games.

VP of Broadcast Mike North said the NFL “wasn’t thinking about” scheduling on Christmas 2024 at this time last year.

“When you saw the viewership numbers for Christmas for the tripleheader last year, and the tripleheader the year before — I think it’s four of the last five years that we’ve played on Christmas — the fans have spoken,” North said. “They want the games there and our broadcast partners want the games there.”

–Field Level Media

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