NFL wishes to complete brand-new TELEVISION offers prior to setting 2021 wage cap in March

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

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

Brian Snyder | Reuters

The Super Bowl is total, and the National Football League is squandering no time at all moving attention to its leading profits stream: media rights.

The NFL is seeking to complete structures of brand-new TELEVISION rights contracts in the next couple of weeks and wishes to do so prior to setting the 2021 wage cap figure in March, according to individuals with understanding of the scenario.

The individuals asked not to be recognized as they aren’t enabled to speak openly about league affairs.

Network partners Fox, ViacomCBS, NBC and Disney’s ESPN pay the league approximately $6 billion annually, with AT&T-owned DirecTV including another $1.5 billion for the Sunday Ticket plan. It’s been extensively reported the next contract might reach $100 billion by means of a 10-year offer. Other choices consist of a seven-year offer at $14 billion annually or an eight-year offer at $12 billion annually.

Working in the NFL’s favor is a brand-new 10-year labor contract reached in 2015 with the NFL Players Association (NFLPA), more postseason contests and a 17-video game regular-season schedule, which the league is preparing to execute next season. Hence, with the additional video games included, the NFL desires its charge.

The NFL decreased to comment.

Packages are anticipated to stay comparable, with Fox and CBS keeping Sunday afternoon video games and NBC hanging on to its Sunday Night Football plan.

But ESPN is the wildcard.

ESPN+ is a competitor to change DirecTV for the NFL’s Sunday Ticket plan, CNBC reported in 2015, and Disney likewise wishes to belong of the Super Bowl rotation. That suggests it might include video games to its ABC network.

One of the people recommended part of the trouble to completing a brand-new contract is the NFL discovering a brand-new house for the Thursday Night Football plan, which Fox presently holds however might drop the offer when it ends in 2023.

There’s speculation a streaming service such as Amazon might bid on the plan. But with Fox, CBS and NBC no longer thinking about simulcasting the video game on a third-party streaming service, Amazon would need to discover another partner to produce the video game.

There is a possibility that ESPN might handle the Thursday Night Football video game and air the video game on ABC. But that would suggest assisting a competing streaming service as it attempts to grow its own ESPN+ offering.

Amazon restored its contract with the NFL last April. Its most recent plan consisted of ongoing streaming of Thursday Night Football and specifically revealing a nationwide regular-season video game on the business’s Prime Video and Twitch platforms. Amazon streamed the San Francisco 49ers-Arizona Cardinals contest in Week 16 specifically, beyond group markets. CBS produced the video game.

Two of individuals stated all of the media rights offers would’ve been completed in December had the Thursday plan been dealt with.

ESPN, NBC, CBS and Fox Sports decreased remark.

In this Oct. 4, 2020 file image is an empty Levi’s Stadium prior to an NFL football video game.

Tony Avelar | AP

Fewer preseason video games?

The NFL is presently computing losses for the year, with its clubs sending monetary info for the 2020 season, according to among individuals.

The NFLPA will then examine profits reports as the 2 sides work out a brand-new wage cap for the 2021 season. The NFL might suffer a $4 billion loss amongst its clubs due to Covid-19 avoiding complete arenas.

The 2020 wage cap was approximately $198 million per group. Salary cap analysis site Overthecap.com approximated the 2021 cap number would reach $180 million. One of individuals recommended $185 million would be the number, however in either case, it will mark the very first wage cap reduction considering that 2011. But that cap is predicted to escalate to over $200 million for the 2022 season.

As of now, a brand-new cap figure requires to be in location by March 17.

Once brand-new media contracts last, there is speculation the NFL might eliminate 2 preseason video games as it inserts the additional regular-season video game. Should the league include a 17th video game, a minimum of one preseason video game will be gotten rid of according to the brand-new cumulative bargaining contract.

With gamers showing throughout the pandemic season they might prepare essentially, and without a preseason, NFLPA president J.C. Tretter has actually required less wear and tear throughout the year.

“We had no offseason practices, fewer training camp practices, and no preseason games. While some feared that those changes would lead to a sloppy 2020 NFL season, our collective level of play across the league has actually never been higher,” Tretter composed in December.

“I believe the changes implemented this season have demonstrated that we can put an entertaining product out on the field while further reducing wear and tear on our players’ bodies,” he included.

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

“I’m not sure, talking with coaches, that four preseason games is necessary any more to get ready for a season to evaluate players, develop players,” he stated, by means of The Associated Press. “There are other ways of doing that, and we’ve had a lot of discussions about that.”

Disclosure: NBCUniversal is the moms and dad business of CNBC.

CNBC’s Alex Sherman added to this report.

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