After pocketing close to $15 billion this past year, the NFL is still aiming to hit $25 billion in revenue by 2027.
There is no questioning that the NFL, despite all its political controversy, is king right now in the sports market. The AFC Championship game between the New England Patriots and Kansas City Chiefs brought in a whopping 54 million viewers. Of the top 50 telecasts over the course of the season, 45 were NFL games.
The opportunity to hit those goals seems perfectly reasonable, as the NFL brings in roughly $5 billion a year from its television contracts alone. FOX Sports extended their partnership with the MLB for that price. Undoubtedly, when the NFL strikes up new TV deals in 2021 it will look for a huge payday from its partners in CBS, NBC, FOX and ESPN.
While the prospect of increased value in TV contracts, sponsorships, and the possibility of the NFL embracing sports gambling are all viable assets in reaching its target number, relationships with digital outlets could play the deciding role.
Amazon currently partners with the NFL for Thursday Night Football coverage, a venture Twitter tried its hand at back in 2014. With Facebook, Twitch, and others trying their hand at live streaming, a lucrative partnership could give the NFL the final push it needs to hit its goals. Amazon alone increased the NFL’s online viewership by 86 percent thanks to their $50 million partnership.
With companies such as the WWE and, more recently, ESPN seeing success from streaming services with a catalog of on-demand content, it certainly could hold some weight as an option. NFL Now was a similar effort that hasn’t really paid off, considering it’s free to use and focuses on presenting up to date news content. NFL Films providing a streaming library could be a game changer for the NFL.
Either way, when the audience tunes in, as the whole world will this Sunday, the NFL is the one that profits.