NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell On CBS & Netflix Deals, Sunday Ticket Verdict – Sun Valley

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell On CBS & Netflix Deals, Sunday Ticket Verdict – Sun Valley

NFL chief Roger Goodell indicated today a Paramount-Skydance merger may not impact football on CBS, although he didn’t commit, and that matches on Netflix may expand beyond the streamer’s recent pact for Christmas Day games. In an interview with CNBC from Sun Valley, the Commissioner also opined on the Sunday Ticket verdict, and said the League may allow private equity to own up to 10% of a team.

“CBS has been a great partner for us back to 1956. I think they’ve been extraordinary great up to the Super Bowl this past year, where we had record ratings — over 200 million people watching,” he said.

“We’re obviously paying close attention to the process. We know Skydance. They’ve done a terrific job with our relationship. So we’ll look at the structure of the deal. We’ll see how it impacts us. We’ll see how it impacts our business. And we’ll make the best decision for the NFL at that point.”

Related Stories

Skydance just agreed to acquired CBS owner Paramount in a deal that will close next year.

A change in ownership allows the NFL to renegotiate. David Ellison’s company in 2022 inked a deal with the NFL and NFL Films to create a global multi-sports production studio under Skydance Sports.

And he told the network that the Netflix deal, a Christmas day double header, made sense for the NFL as it attempts to reach an international audience. “Netflix has close to 300 million subscribers on a global basis, which was really attractive for us in being able to reach that global fan. As you know, international is a huge initiative of ours. And I think they want to really make this an event like Christmas Day. And we think that’s important, just like Thanksgiving.”

Asked it that meant more games would be coming to the streamer, he said “Maybe … we believe that the game is going to be incredibly popular globally, we just have to bring more games.”

He noted that over 85% of NFL games are on free broadcast television, and when they’re not, the league has committed to making it free to air in the local markets of the two. “So I think we’re going where the fans are.”

The NFL was just handed a loss and assessed a massive $4.7 billion in damages in a lawsuit by fans over the NFL Sunday Ticket on DirecTV, its previous partner for years.

Goodell said “we obviously disagree with the jury verdict. And we are committed, obviously, to following the legal process. It’s a long process. We’re aware of that. But we feel very strongly about our position, our policies, particularly on media, that we make our sport available to the broadest possible audience. Sunday Ticket is just a complimentary product. So we’re committed to following the litigation, all the way, and making sure that we get this right.”

On ownership policies, he said the League is leaning towards a allowing private equity investments of up to 10%.

“We’ve been very deliberate on this, just looking at our ownership policies in general. And as sports evolve, we want to make sure that our policies reflect that we created a committee last September that looked at all aspects of our policies, including debt, and including private equity. We’ve had a tremendous amount of interest. And we believe that this could make sense for us in a limited fashion, probably no more than 10% of the team. But that would be something that we think could complement our ownership and support our ownership policies. So we think we’re moving in a very positive direction. And hopefully, we’ll have something by the end of the year.”