Cinedigm Extends NFL Pact to Distribute Super Bowl Content on Digital, Packaged Media

Cinedigm Feb. 27 announced it is again partnering with the National Football League and NFL Films to continue title and packaged-media distribution of the Official NFL Super Bowl Championship film along with NFL Films’ catalog releases.

Cinedigm will release Super Bowl LVII Champions: Kansas City Chiefs on digital March 3 and on DVD/Blu-ray Disc combo pack March 14.

Led by two-time league MVP Patrick Mahomes, the Chiefs captured the franchise’s third Vince Lombardi trophy with a 38-35 comeback victory over the Philadelphia Eagles. Engineering a game-winning drive in the final minutes, the Chiefs sealed Super Bowl LVII with a 27-yard field goal for the team’s second win in four years.

The film is available for pre-order on or Apple TV, which includes the Chiefs’ five-game winning streak to close out the season, and a pair of playoff wins against Jacksonville Jaguars and Cincinnati Bengals.

Alliance Entertainment serves as a production services partner to deliver the film on disc through

Yolanda Macias, chief content officer at Cinedigm, said the streamer/home entertainment distributor’s longstanding relationship with the NFL and NFL Films should pay dividends following the Chiefs’ win.

“We are confident that Chiefs fans will enjoy this incredible film celebrating their team’s unforgettable season,” Macias said in a statement.

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The Championship film includes the following special features available as iTunes extras and on the Blu-ray Disc Combo:

  • Chiefs 2019 Team Highlight Film
  • Post-Game Ceremonies
  • 2022 NFL Shots of the Year
    • Fun with Quarterbacks
    • Officials
    • Football Follies
    • National Tight Ends Day
    • Coach Speak
    • Celebrations
    • Trash Talk
  • Patrick Mahomes Interview
  • Andy Reid Interview
  • Chris Jones Vignette
  • Isiah Pacheco Vignette
  • Juju Smith-Shuster Vignette

Netflix Partners With NFL for New Docuseries Headlined by Super Bowl MVP QB Patrick Mahomes

Netflix may not be interested in live sports streaming, but the SVOD behemoth is falling in love with the sports genre.

The service Feb. 22 announced its first partnership with the National Football League for “Quarterback,” a new documentary series that will take a behind-the-scenes look at the 2022 NFL season from the perspective of three quarterbacks: Kansas City Chiefs Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes, the Minnesota Vikings’ Kirk Cousins and Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota with the Atlanta Falcons.

Minnesota Vikings QB Kirk Cousins with his young son.

The series, which is co-produced by Mahomes’ 2PM Productions, Payton Manning’s Omaha Productions and NFL Films, is slated to launch this summer. For the first time, the NFL allowed quarterbacks to be mic’d up for every single game of a season. The Netflix show will feature some of the players’ biggest moments as Mahomes set an NFL record for total offense on his way to winning the league and Super Bowl MVP awards; Cousins engineered the greatest comeback in NFL history and led the Minnesota Vikings to an NFC North Division title; and Mariota took over as the starting quarterback in his first season with the Atlanta Falcons.

“We aim to give our members unprecedented access to the biggest athletes in the world, telling stories that you can’t see anywhere else,” Brandon Riegg, VP of unscripted and documentary series for Netflix, said in a statement.

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Indeed, Netflix premiered tennis series “Break Point”  in January, and golf series “Full Swing” on Feb. 15. Season five of hit series “Formula 1: Drive to Survive” premieres Feb. 24. Later this year, Netflix will premiere a behind-the-scenes docuseries from the 2022 Tour de France. The company recently announced a new untitled series at the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, featuring exclusive, behind-the-scenes footage of all 32 teams from the tournament, and Six Nations, an exclusive, inside look at the international rugby tournament. 

These projects build on Netflix’s overall sports programming success, following previous projects such as “Bill Russell: Legend”; “The Redeem Team”; “Last Chance U”; “The Last Dance”; “Neymar: The Perfect Chaos”; “Untold”; and “Cheer.” In addition to exclusive projects with sports leagues, Netflix this year will also launch an untitled David Beckham series

NFL G.O.A.T. Tom Brady Retires Again as Hollywood, Media Careers Beckon

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback and NFL legend Tom Brady in a social media post Feb. 1 officially announced his second retirement from the game after 23 seasons. The announcement comes one year to the day Brady first announced he was stepping away from the game — only to reverse that decision 40 days later.

Brady, the 199th pick in the 2000 NFL draft, would go on to win six Super Bowls with the New England Patriots and one with the Buccaneers. The 45-year-old ends his career as the greatest of all-time (GOAT) leader in NFL passing yards (89,214) and touchdown passes (649).

Brady is transitioning from the gridiron to Hollywood and the broadcast booth. Paramount Pictures Feb. 3 is set to release 80 For Brady, a sports-themed dramedy co-starring Lily Tomlin, Jane Fonda, Rita Moreno and Sally Field as a group octogenarians who have made it their life-long mission to go to the Super Bowl and meet Brady — who stars as himself and co-produced the movie through his 199 Productions company.

Brady has previously appeared on “Saturday Night Live,” “The Simpsons” and “Family Guy” (2005), a season six episode of “Entourage,” and Universal Pictures’ 2015 R-rated comedy Ted 2.

Brady is also set to begin a 10-year, $375 million contract with Fox Sports as a signature NFL game analyst.

Google to Bring NFL ‘Sunday Ticket’ on YouTube TV and YouTube Primetime Channels in $2 Billion Deal

The National Football League Dec. 22 announced a multiyear agreement with Google granting YouTube TV subscribers and YouTube Primetime Channels the right to exclusively distribute “NFL Sunday Ticket” in the U.S. starting with the 2023 NFL season.

“For a number of years we have been focused on increased digital distribution of our games and this strategic partnership is yet another example of us looking towards the future and building the next generation of NFL fans,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement.

NFL Sunday Ticket will be available on YouTube’s subscription businesses as an add-on package on YouTube TV and standalone a-la-carte on YouTube Primetime Channels.

Consisting of all out-of-market Sunday regular-season NFL games (based on viewer’s location) broadcast on Fox and CBS, NFL Sunday Ticket allows domestic fans to follow their favorite teams and players no matter where they live.

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“Through this expanded partnership with the NFL, viewers will now also be able to experience the game they love in compelling and innovative ways,” said Susan Wojcicki, CEO of YouTube.

NFL Sunday Ticket launched in 1994 and has been distributed on DirecTV’s satellite service since its inception. The NFL and YouTube will work together to determine additional ways to support distribution of NFL Sunday Ticket in commercial establishments such as bars and restaurants.

The NFL and Google have been partners since the 2015 launch of the NFL channel on YouTube. Since then, the NFL YouTube channel has grown to more than 10 million subscribers who can access clips, highlights, game-day compilations and exclusive original content series like “NFL Follies” and NFL Films’ two-time Emmy winning flagship series, “Gameday All-Access,” a mic’d up players show bringing fans inside the huddle and on the sidelines.

The NFL is the most popular live television content in all of sports and entertainment, according to Nielsen. Over the last five years, 49 of the top 50 and 92 of the top 100 most-watched programs on U.S. television have been NFL games.

Google’s deal underscores U.S. streaming services’ increased interest in live sports. Amazon has exclusive distribution of “NFL Thursday Night Football” in a 11-year, $11 billion deal. Apple TV+ will begin streaming exclusive access to Major League Soccer in 2023.

Paramount+ Mounting Brand Campaign During NFL Thanksgiving Game

Paramount+ on Nov. 24 will mount another branding campaign during the NFL Thanksgiving game.

The third iteration of the Paramount+ Mount Paramount brand campaign, “A Mountain of Entertainment,” will feature a spot inspired by the Comedy Central “Key & Peele” substitute teacher character Mr. Garvey. In the one-minute promo, Mr. Garvey, played by Keegan-Michael Key, finds himself teaching mountain survival skills to a mix of characters from across Paramount+ titles and properties, including Dora (“Dora the Explorer”), Blue (“Blue’s Clues”), Rubble (“Paw Patrol”), Bumblebee (“Transformers”), Nate (“Big Nate”), Clawdeen Wolf (“Monster High The Movie”), Peppa Pig (“Peppa Pig”), Murf (“Star Trek: Prodigy”), Marsai Martin (“Fantasy Football”), Blaze (‘Blaze and The Monster Machines”) and more. Sylvester Stallone (“Tulsa King”) also lends his voice to the spot. 

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The Survival School spot, created by agency partner Droga5, will serve as the first in a three-spot ad campaign, which will feature a mix of returning mountaineers and a new crew to scale Paramount Mountain. 

The first installment of the campaign, which premiered nearly two years ago during the Super Bowl for the launch of the streaming service, featured 30 stars from film, TV, sports and news series coming together to climb Mount Paramount. The second spot, a year later, continued the journey during the AFC Championship game. 

The campaign will also include strategic platform partnerships, creative digital placements across owned channels and an out of home presence.


Verizon Readying New Streaming, Router Devices, SVOD Platform With NFL+ Access

Verizon Communications is preparing to launch +Play, a subscription streaming platform affording users easier access to third-party over-the-top video services.

The telecom, which made the announcement Sept. 28 at the ongoing Mobile World Congress Las Vegas, is also readying the launch of a new proprietary router and streaming set-top box it reports will increase upload speeds by 100% and is waterproof so it can be used outdoors.

Following the $1 billion write-down in 2018 for its failed Go90 streaming platform that had targeted millennial users with access to original content, music and licensed programming, Verizon has looked to fill the void marketing third-party SVOD platforms such as Disney+, and later, the bundle with ESPN+ and Hulu, free to select unlimited wireless subscribers.

Its +Play is designed to be a one-stop-shop for purchasing subscription services across entertainment, gaming, music, wellness and other genres.

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Through new partnerships with Netflix, Peloton, Live Nation’s Veeps and featuring Discovery+, A+E Networks and AMC+, among other services, the hub will give Verizon customers a more efficient way to access and take advantage of exclusive deals from content services.

By 2024, the average streamer will subscribe to more than five services, according to Verizon. With more platforms launching across content, gaming, music, news and lifestyle, the telecom and internet service provider contends +Play offers an easier way to manage subscriptions across any and all devices and is a more effective way to discover new content.

“Through premium content and entertainment relationships, we have a track record as one of the largest and most successful direct to consumer platforms in the country,” said Manon Brouillette, EVP and CEO of Verizon Consumer Group, in a statement. “We already support the management of millions of Verizon-offered content subscriptions and +Play will further enhance our Mix & Match plan proposition by scaling choice through aggregation — choice of connectivity, choice of device, and now choice of content and digital services with added perks and offers in a one stop shop.”

Separately, Verizon announced that the NFL’s new subscription service NFL+ will be available for customers to purchase on +Play. Fans can watch football on their schedule with full and condensed replays of every game — for a separate monthly subscription fee. The NFL is the first major sports league to join +Play.

“Our new direct to consumer platform will enable our customers to discover new content, to manage their existing subscriptions and to find exclusive offers and new content bundles,” Erin McPherson, chief content officer of Verizon, said in a statement.

Launching later this year, +Play seeks to offer Verizon wireless subs more choices about their entertainment, gaming and lifestyle content.

“The technologies we unveiled and topics we discussed at Mobile World demonstrate how Verizon is powering and permeating entertainment and productivity alike,” McPherson said.

Apple Music Streaming Service Replaces Pepsi as Super Bowl Halftime Show Sponsor

The NFL announced that the Apple Music streaming service is the professional football league’s new partner for this season’s 15-minute Super Bowl LVII Halftime Show, replacing longtime sponsor Pepsi. Singer Rhianna will headline the performance, Feb. 12, 2023, at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Ariz.

The five-year deal brings together the most-watched live musical performance of the year, with Apple Music, which offers subscribers access to more than 90 million songs.


“We couldn’t think of a more appropriate partner … than Apple Music, a service that entertains, inspires and motivates millions of people through the intersection of music and technology,” Nana-Yaw Asamoah, SVP of partner strategy for the NFL, said in a statement.

More than 120 million people watched The Super Bowl LVI Halftime Show live earlier this year, according to the NFL. The show featured a lineup of trailblazing rap musicians, including Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J. Blige and Kendrick Lamar, and marked the first time these five multi-award-winning artists performed together on stage. The Super Bowl LVI Halftime Show earned three Creative Emmy awards.

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“Music and sports hold a special place in our hearts, so we’re very excited Apple Music will be part of music and football’s biggest stage,” said Oliver Schusser, VP of Apple Music and Beats.

Past Super Bowl Halftime Show performances include The Weeknd, Jennifer Lopez, Shakira, Beyoncé, Justin Timberlake, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Bruno Mars, Prince, Tom Petty, Michael Jackson and Madonna, among others.

NFL+ Streaming Service Leaves Some Fans Feeling Penalized

In July the National Football League, like a lot of professional sports leagues, launched a proprietary subscription streaming service, NFL+, that enabled users to stream games and access exclusive content for monthly fees priced from $4.99 to $9.99.

Rollout of the platform has had its issues, most notably the platform’s limitations to actual games. With the NFL recently renewing its TV broadcast deals, many of which included streaming, the amount of live content left over for the NFL+ service was reduced.

Indeed, the platform, which is only available primarily for mobile devices accessing out-of-market games, limited live action across all platforms (including the television) to preseason games. And then some of those games were blacked out due to previously existing local distribution agreements between the networks.

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The NFL has distribution deals with many big players, including Amazon Prime Video (exclusive distribution of “Thursday Night Football”), CBS (Paramount+), NBCUniversal (Peacock) and Disney (ESPN+). The fragmented state of NFL’s distribution rights creates major challenges in creating a comprehensive service for its streaming product.

“With the start of the NFL season, many fans are frustrated with local blackouts on the service,” Eric Sorensen, senior contributing analyst at Parks Associates, said in a statement. “An NFL+ subscription does not guarantee access to every game, but Twitter reactions show the NFL must do a better job of informing fans of the extent and limitations of the product.”

What the service does suggest is that the NFL remains popular among U.S. households. Parks found that 68% of internet households watch NFL games throughout the season, making football the most widely watched sport in the U.S.

“The newly minted NFL+ app opens the possibility that all games could be streamed direct-to-consumer in the future, but the long-term nature of [existing TV] rights deals mean an aggregated fan experience is unlikely in the near term,” said Tam Williams, marketing associate at Parks.

NFL, ITV Announce Three-Year Partnership, Includes On-Demand Streaming Access to Super Bowl LVII

The National Football League Aug. 17 announced a new three-year partnership with British television operator and content producer ITV. The deal includes free-to-air television and on-demand streaming rights to select NFL programming, including Super Bowl LVII, in the U.K. and Ireland.

The programs will be co-hosted by Laura Woods, U.K. Sports Presenter of the Year, along with game analysts Osi Umenyiora, a two-time Super Bowl winner with the New York Giants, and Jason Bell, formerly with the Dallas Cowboys, when ITV kicks off its coverage on Sept. 9 with the first in a series of hour-long weekly shows, airing at 11:30 p.m. on ITV.

The 2022 NFL season kicks off the previous night when the defending Super Bowl champions Los Angeles Rams take on the Buffalo Bills.

ITV will air Super Bowl LVII, live from Glendale, Ariz., on Feb. 12, 2023, as well as two of the season’s three London Games. The New York Giants face the Green Bay Packers at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Oct. 9, and the Jacksonville Jaguars host the Denver Broncos at Wembley Stadium on Oct. 30.

The new partnership marks the NFL’s return to ITV for the first time since the network aired the last of its three consecutive Super Bowls in 2007. The NFL has recently aired games on the BBC.

“This deal will bring to ITV viewers the very best of the NFL each week in our highlights shows throughout the season as well as key live games,” Niall Sloane, ITV Director of Sport, said in a statement.

Henry Hodgson, managing director, NFL U.K., said the time was right to movie to a new media partnership following seven years of NFL coverage on BBC TV.

“This is another significant milestone for the NFL in [the U.K.],” Hodgson said. “With the momentum behind fan growth, more London games, successful British players in the NFL, the launch of an Academy and a charitable foundation — this announcement is another sign of our ambition to grow and develop the sport in the U.K.”

The weekly ITV show will focus on providing NFL fans, new and old, with an update on everything they need to know heading into each weekend of NFL games. The show will also be repeated Saturdays on ITV4 and will be available on ITV Hub.

ITV’s NFL programming will also be broadcast on STV in Scotland and Virgin Media in Ireland, while all programming will be also available on VOD on ITV Hub, ITV Hub+, STV Player and VM Player.

ITV is co-owner of the BritBox subscription streaming platform.

Sling TV, Vizio Link on Football Season Giveaway

Sling TV and Vizio have announced a football experience giveaway.

Throughout the sweepstakes, 10 fans will receive a year-long subscription to Sling Blue + Orange, giving them access to matchups on NFL Network, ESPN and more. Plus, one grand prize winner will receive a year-long Sling subscription and a 75-inch V-Series  Vizio TV + M-Series Elevate Sound Bar.

The sweepstakes is open through Sept. 11, and the winner will be announced on Sept. 15  via Sling’s Instagram Story. To learn more and enter, follow Sling on  Instagram  and like the pinned sweepstakes post.

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