Report: NFL hopes to “finalize frameworks” of next TV deals before setting 2021 salary cap

NFL: NOV 16 Vikings at Bears
Getty Images

The NFL may be partially robbing Peter to partially pay Paul.

That’s the obvious takeaway from a new report, courtesy of CNBC’s Jabari Young, that the NFL wants to “finalize frameworks” of new TV deals before setting the 2021 salary cap.

This implies that the league could be inclined to shift some future earnings toward 2021, potentially bumping up the salary cap. It’s currently expected to land in the range of $180 million per team. It’s possible that, if the money to be earned under the next wave of contracts represents a sufficient increase in revenue, some of that money could be moved around in order to make more money available to all teams in the coming season.

The Monday Night Football package runs through 2021. The rest of the deals apply through 2022.

According to Young, the next wave of contracts is expected to be similar to the current configuration of deals, with FOX and CBS keeping Sunday afternoon packages and NBC retaining Sunday Night Football. Young calls ESPN “the wildcard,” with the possibility of adding the Sunday Ticket package to ESPN+ to Monday nights.

The destination of the Thursday night package remains unclear. FOX holds the rights for the next two years. None of the broadcast networks seem to be interested in assuming the package. Amazon could assume the rights, but that would move the game from the larger platform that a three-letter network provides.

Young notes the ESPN could purchase the Thursday rights, moving the games to ABC. ESPN/ABC/Disney would also like to infiltrate the Super Bowl rotation, currently held by FOX, CBS, and NBC.

However it plays out, there’s a strong sense that the pieces soon will be falling into place. Those new deals, worth up to $100 billion and likely extending through the end of the decade, could make it easier to offset the 2020 losses due to the pandemic.

26 responses to “Report: NFL hopes to “finalize frameworks” of next TV deals before setting 2021 salary cap

  1. Ruh roh…nobody wants Thursdays? Or Mondays? Could the cause be garbage matchups? Over saturation? Loss of interest because all the players are elite in their own mind?

  2. Jeff Bezos should just buy the whole league and stream games on Amazon. Then he’ll really make a buck.

  3. If they are setting the cap off the new TV deals then the cap should be at least 200 mill or more. They are going to make more than enough from the TV deal to take care of the loss from the pandemic which wasn’t as big a loss as they are trying to sell to the public.

  4. The owners need to suck up 2020 loss and hold cap steady at a minimum for the quality of the game. Owners have fantastic profits every year and can afford a rare losing year

  5. I really hope Sunday Ticket is moved to Amazon Prime but ESPN + wouldn’t be bad either. Any reason to ditch Direct TV. NFL seriously needs to make changes with Sunday Ticket, even add an option to just watch the team of your choice with a lower price. I live in Maryland and get Sunday Ticket for Eagles games. I am sure others would like that as well but if it’s all included on Amazon Prime or ESPN + that would be cool…but I am sure we still will have to pay too much.

  6. freefromwhatyouare says:
    February 10, 2021 at 8:51 pm
    If they are setting the cap off the new TV deals then the cap should be at least 200 mill or more. They are going to make more than enough from the TV deal to take care of the loss from the pandemic which wasn’t as big a loss as they are trying to sell to the public.
    __________________________________

    The current contracts determine how much the NFL makes from those contracts next year and in 2022 until the old 10yr contract runs out so why would a new contract determine what next years cap is? When most of the TV deals don’t start until 2023 except for Monday night football which the new deal starts at the begining of the 2022 season.

    Whan are people going to learn with a $5-$7BIL dollar shortfall for 2020 it’ll take far more than 1yr of a reduced cap to make that up! Look for the owners to keep the cap down for a few year so they can make their money back as fast as possible.

    I really look for those TV deals that don’t end until the end of 2022 to get done this year as those TV networks want to see if this attendance thing is going to change and if those fans are going to return, if they don’t the new deals WILL BE a lot smaller than they currently are, BANK IT! The Only way they’ll get a deal this year is by giving those Networks a deal, so it’s a gamble either way.

  7. “The destination of the Thursday night package remains unclear. FOX holds the rights for the next two years. None of the broadcast networks seem to be interested in assuming the package.”
    ——————-

    The current Thursday Night Football tv contract doesn’t expire unil after the 2023 season. Fox just paid $650m per season starting 2019 for FIVE years, so this isn’t even close to being up for bid.

  8. So what’s going on with the Sunday Ticket, and DirecTV?? I can’t wait to get rid of DirecTV.

  9. It almost HAS to happen, or something at least to avoid watering down the league. The NFL want’s the cap the same or higher than last year, I’d imagine. Some of the darling teams in the NFL will be in serious peril if it drops much, this coming season and/or the following. They have to do something to fill those coffers.

    And you know they will. They don’t want the Chiefs, Saints and other teams that are currently perennial contenders, and most importantly somewhat popular to be gutted. They don’t want some of the unpopular teams (Jag’s for instance) who are loaded with cap space, cash and picks to upend a potential popular playoff team by ravaging their roster. It’s a business folks, entertainment is important, a vehicle to grow the base, but at the end of the day, it’s the all mighty dollar, and the dollar always win’s in corporations.

  10. The NFL is circling the drain. They’ve turned into a political organization that also plays a rigged made-for-TV version of football on the side.

  11. Lowest rated Super Bowl since 1969. Better sign that TV deal before the networks realize the audience has moved onto to NetFlix and isn’t coming back. M

  12. It benefits the owners to have a higher salary. If the salary cap goes down to 185-180 million, more then half the teams (most of them the big draw good teams like L.A, Pitts, N.O., Dall, Phil) will have to cut alot of salary/players. The only teams that wont be in cap hell is the teams that are notorious for being cheap..ie Jags ect. Free agents wont sign, Dogs & cats wont fight it will be crazy.

    It benefits the entire league to keep parity alive. Having all these great players (the ones that make the most money) having a choice to go to any team over only going to NY Jets or Jags.

  13. The TV networks should low-ball the hell out of the next deal. The Super Bowl ratings were pre-1970s bad. The ratings for the 18-49 demo have been in freefall for the last several years and the NFL is over leveraged and counting on the next TV deal to make them whole after the huge COVID-19 losses of revenue.
    As it is, maybe the next deal is a modest bump, but beyond that I doubt it. The NFL is still king, but its audience now isn’t as valuable as it once was.
    You think the League would have allowed that Nickelodeon junk if it didn’t think it needed to worry about attracting younger fans?

  14. How about get rid of NFL Sunday Ticket on DirectTV and hook that up with a streaming service instead. I’m happy to pay for my Eagles games, I don’t care to pay for Directv’s package also.

  15. Not a conspiracy theorist here, but it’s pretty clear that the salary cap exists to level the playing field for the smallest market teams & to (conveniently) keep costs down. The majority of teams in the league could have a team payroll of $300-400 million & still make a ton.

    This act of trying to make it seem like the teams are just scraping by is a straw man for collective bargaining/etc… Making it seem like they’re being generous instead of petty is the difference between the MLB approach vs the NFL.

  16. We’ll never know how much the league lost to the pandemic. I just can’t imagine the on air broadcasters giving up the rights to the biggest sports league in the country. To put games on pay only channels just when people are cutting the cable because of rising subscription costs seems counterproductive to the major networks bottom line.

  17. Translation: We don’t want to run the risk of household names being cut or deal with the bad PR (for all involved) of numerous holdouts. So let’s just move the goal posts so we don’t have to deal with these things, nor the whining of owners/clubs who aren’t in an advantageous cap position.

    Meanwhile, the clubs who had financially postured themselves to rebuild via free agency are penalized. Sounds fair to me.

  18. PLEASE move Sunday Ticket to Amazon Prime. Hell move it to Disney+ for all I care. Just move it to a streaming platform and if they actually allow a lower price to stream JUST your team’s games and RedZone – the flood gates will burst open!

  19. For the love of God PLEASE add Sunday Ticket to ESPN+. THey do that, and five minutes later I’ll be taking that DirecTV dish off of the roof.

  20. The NFL would be wise to take an agnostic approach to the Sunday Ticket and let all of the major carriers offer it as well as have a direct to consumer channel similar to MLB.TV Other posters have mentioned it, but being able to purchase one team would be awesome. I used to have DirecTV for the Bears, but it’s hard to justify over $2K per year in the final year of a 2 year contract. Offer the product direct to consumer and I think they’ll see a YUGE new revenue stream.

  21. You currently do not need DirecTV to get the ticket, they have a streaming option…if they say you can’t get in your area pick up the phone and sell them on allowing you to have the service. I got it this year at my place that has DirecTV for over a decade…It can be done!

  22. grumpyoldman says:
    February 11, 2021 at 3:38 am
    How about get rid of NFL Sunday Ticket on DirectTV and hook that up with a streaming service instead. I’m happy to pay for my Eagles games, I don’t care to pay for Directv’s package also.
    —————
    For years I’ve had Sunday Ticket as a streaming service without DirecTV. It’s something like $75/mo which is ridiculously overpriced but it beats the alternative. I would like to see it go to another platform like ESPN or amazon or spread out to several platforms so it’s no longer monopolized.

  23. The NFL better do something to improve the game. They just experienced the lowest viewed Super Bowl since 2007. Ouch. In this year of the pandemic you would think they would rock with viewers. Yet, the NFL is down trending with the youth, way too much hype, poor officiating, entitled players, entitled owners, to many tv time outs, and let alone kneel downing, concussions, etc etc. Wake up NFL, it’s time to look in the mirror. They have some work to do.

  24. There are a lot of comments that say the NFL is in a weaker position due to declining viewers, that’s not true.

    7 of the most watched shows were NFL games, including the top 5. Streaming and sub channels are fragmenting the market making it hard to get 30 million people watching, in my youth an evening sitcom would draw that many, but no more.

    I’d say the NFL is in a very strong position. They had the only event to go over 1 million viewers so what happens is as the fragmentation continues the value of each viewer go up!

    Look at the market dynamics not simply raw numbers, the NFL is still the top product for advertisers onTV and they will pay.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.