NFL on CBS Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Paramount Global’s ongoing buyout saga is causing a bit of concern in NFL circles.

Per John Ourand of Puck, the NFL is feeling “some angst” about Paramount’s scattered deal with Skydance (who the NFL formed a joint venture with back in 2022 for scripted and unscripted content). Specifically, the league is “gaming out their options” in case CBS Sports can’t pay its $2 billion in annual rights fees to the league.

For whatever it’s worth, this is considered “highly unlikely,” though it does remain a remote possibility.

In addition to its long-term deal with the NFL, Paramount has expensive, long-term deals with the PGA Tour, UEFA, the Big Ten, and the NCAA (for March Madness).

If Paramount can’t pay, the next steps for the company and the NFL remain uncertain. It doesn’t seem plausible that the league would pull games off CBS in the middle of the season. Could the deal get voided after 2024 if Paramount simply can’t pay? That seems like a remote possibility, but if Paramount just can’t afford the NFL, the league isn’t going to take a haircut on rights fees just to keep the peace.

As the Paramount buyout saga rolls along, we’ll have to keep an eye on what ends up happening. If another buyer, or even Skydance again, steps up in the coming weeks or months, maybe the NFL’s angst will be settled. But if we reach the fall and Paramount is still on the market with no resolution in sight, the NFL probably won’t be any less worried.


About Joe Lucia

I hate your favorite team. I also sort of hate most of my favorite teams.