Saturday September 30, 2023

The NFL, America’s Biggest League, Crosses Borders to Find New Fans

  • The NFL will play games in London, Munich, and Mexico City this season.
  • The league is looking to grow its streaming audience as well.
Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports
Front Office Sports Today

Donovan McNabb and the State of Football

From Taylor Swift to the Prime Effect, there's a lot going on in the world of football.
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September 29, 2023 | Podcast
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With the NFL season kicking off on Thursday night, the biggest league in the U.S. is looking to grow with two key audiences: streamers and international fans. 

Not content to coast after a 2021 in which 75 of the top 100 U.S. broadcasts were NFL games, the league is looking outside the country.

  • This season will see a trio of games in London in October, followed by games in Munich and Mexico City in November.
  • Two games at London’s Tottenham Hotspur Stadium last year brought in more than 120,000 fans combined.
  • Over 770,000 accessed the ticketing site for the game at Bayern Munich’s Allianz Arena when tickets went on sale in July. The stadium holds 70,000 for international games.

In April, the NFL assigned general managers in the U.K. and Australia to grow the game in those countries.

Stream Effort

While Thursday’s season opener between the defending champion Los Angeles Rams and ascendant Buffalo Bills will be broadcast on NBC, most Thursday contests will only be available on Amazon Prime Video, which is paying $1 billion annually for “Thursday Night Football.”

The league incorporated the streaming services of NBC, Disney, CBS, and Fox in its set of 11-year media deals that begin next season and are collectively worth more than $110 billion.

The league is also launching its own streaming service, NFL+.

With the biggest names in broadcast media on board, the league is looking to the tech giants for NFL Sunday Ticket: Google, Apple, and Amazon are all reportedly eyeing the out-of-market package, which the league hopes to sell to a streaming service for $2.5 billion annually.

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