NBC, Peacock Add Holiday-Season NFL Game to Broader 2024-2025 Schedule

NBC is increasingly throwing the ball to the NFL.

The Comcast-backed media conglomerate said Monday that it had purchased the rights to broadcast an extra NFL game on Saturday, December 21, presumably adding a bigger audience to the last shopping weekend before Christmas. NBC already has the rights to broadcast a game on December 22 as part of its “Sunday Night Football” lineup.

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“We’re excited to work with our partners at the NFL to acquire an additional game for NBCUniversal platforms at a crucial point in the playing season,” said Rick Cordella, president of NBC Sports, in a prepared statement. “With two NFL games in exclusive windows on the last December weekend before the holidays, we continue to deliver for our owned-stations, affiliates and partners.”

The pigskin acquisition shows how much more dependent traditional media companies like NBCU have become on sports leagues at the NFL to generate the big audiences that advertisers and distributors crave. In the age of streaming, however, only the live-sports format remains as a reliable gatherer of sizable crowds.

NBCU found success when it acquired exclusive rights to air an AFC Wild Card playoff game on the Peacock streaming service in January. Executives have said they found the broadcast drove consumers to buy Peacock subscriptions, with many sticking to the outlet afterwards. NBCU is slated to stream an exclusive NFL game in September on Peacock that will take place in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

The NFL is slated to unveil its full 2024-2025 schedule on Wednesday.

The new holiday-game schedule marks the first time since 1997 that NBCUniversal will present NFL games on both Saturday and Sunday in week 16 of the season.

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