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Netflix to Exclusively Live-Stream Two NFL Christmas Day Games

Netflix to Exclusively Live-Stream Two NFL Christmas Day Games

Netflix is entering the NFL after securing global rights to the NFL’s two Christmas Day marquee games as part of new three-year distribution deal, the NFL announced May 15.

In Week 17, Netflix will live-stream the Kansas City Chiefs taking on the Pittsburgh Steelers (1 p.m. ET), and the Baltimore Ravens playing the Houston Texans (4:30 p.m. ET). Netflix will also live-stream at least one holiday game in 2025 and 2026 as part of a three-year agreement.

While the streamer is no stranger to the NFL through its original series “Quarterback” in 2023 and this summer’s follow-up show, “Receiver,” showcasing five of the NFL’s best pass catchers through their 2023 season, the live games now put Netflix on the streaming stage with Prime Video, Peacock and Paramount+.

“Last year, we decided to take a big bet on live, tapping into massive fandoms across comedy, reality TV, sports and more,” Bela Bajaria, chief content officer at Netflix, said in a statement. “There are no live annual events, sports or otherwise, that compare with the audiences NFL football attracts.

Hans Schroeder, EVP of media distribution at the NFL, said the games would be available on the largest global streaming platform that has more than 83 million North American subscribers.

Peacock’s exclusive Wild Card Playoff Game in January attracted more than 23 million viewers, making it the largest one-day internet event in the country ever.

“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,” Schroeder said.

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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 versus 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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