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Netflix Lands NFL Christmas Day Games In Latest Step-Up In Sports

Netflix has snagged rights to an NFL doubleheader on Christmas Day, taking the latest leap forward in live sports,

After this year, the streaming giant will carry at least one holiday game over the next three years.

Rumored in recent weeks, the deal was formally announced by the league as it also prepared to release its entire 2024-25 schedule. A few key dates have dribbled out this week as media and tech companies have held upfront presentation to ad buyers in New York.

For Netflix, the games advance its sports ambitions, providing the latest contradiction of the company’s longstanding insistence that it wasn’t following Amazon, YouTube and Apple into live sports. With an advertising tier an increasing corporate priority, Netflix has added WWE wrestling (starting in 2025) as well as made-for-streaming golf, tennis and boxing matches. Its recent roast of former NFL great Tom Brady proved a blockbuster.

Netflix has an early Christmas gift for you — but it won’t fit under the tree. On December 25 2024, Netflix will be the global home of the NFL’s two Christmas Day marquee games. And mark your calendar for Christmas Day in 2025 and 2026 when Netflix will be streaming at least one holiday game each year as part of this 3-season deal. 

Netflix has been playing ball with the NFL for a couple of years now beginning with the hit series Quarterback in 2023. This summer, Receiver is set to premiere on Netflix and will follow five of the NFL’s best pass catchers through their 2023 season on and off the field: Davante Adams (Raiders), Justin Jefferson (Vikings), George Kittle, Deebo Samuel (both of the 49ers) and Amon-Ra St. Brown (Lions).

“Last year, we decided to take a big bet on live — tapping into massive fandoms across comedy, reality TV, sports and more,” says Netflix Chief Content Officer, Bela Bajaria. “There are no live annual events, sports or otherwise, that compare with the audiences NFL football attracts. We’re so excited that the NFL’s Christmas Day games will be only on Netflix.”

“We couldn’t be more excited to be the first professional sports league to partner with Netflix to bring live games to fans around the world,” says Hans Schroeder, NFL Executive Vice President of Media Distribution. “The NFL on Christmas has become a tradition and to partner with Netflix, a service whose biggest day of the year is typically this holiday, is the perfect combination to grow this event globally for NFL fans.”

OK, but what teams will be served up along with the turkey, stuffing and eggnog? The NFL will announce its full 2024 schedule tonight —including  the Christmas Day match-ups — on the NFL Network, and app at 8 pm ET. Check back afterward for an update!

The NFL launched Yuletide games in 1971 before bringing them back on a semi-regular basis in 1989. Since 2020, they’ve been a holiday staple with last year’s three Christmas games ranking among the top 25 most viewed TV programs of 2023; the Raiders vs. Chiefs match (yes, Taylor Swift and Santa Claus attended) drew the highest Christmas Day viewership since 1988. In total, the NFL has staged 30 Christmas contests. In keeping with the NFL’s long-standing holiday tradition, the Netflix Christmas Day games  will air on broadcast TV in the competing team cities, and be available on U.S. mobile devices with NFL+

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