Dec 17, 2023; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Browns fans wear Christmas costumes before the game against the Chicago Bears at Cleveland Browns Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Galvin-USA TODAY Sports Credit: Scott Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

One week after Boomer Esiason first mentioned it as a possibility, Netflix made its relationship with the NFL official.

On Wednesday, the streaming giant announced that it has reached a three-year deal to host NFL’s Christmas Day games. The NFL previously announced its intentions to play two games on Christmas Day in 2024 — when the holiday will fall on a Wednesday — with Netflix’s release noting that the league will play at least one game on Christmas Day in 2025 and 2026.

“Last year, we decided to take a big bet on live — tapping into massive fandoms across comedy, reality TV, sports, and more,” Netflix Chief Content Officer Bela Bajaria said in a release. “There are no live annual events, sports or otherwise, that compare with the audiences NFL football attracts. We’re so excited that the NFL’s Christmas Day games will be only on Netflix.”

Added NFL Executive Vice President of Media Distribution Hans Schroeder: “We couldn’t be more excited to be the first professional sports league to partner with Netflix to bring live games to fans around the world. 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.”

For Netflix, the addition of primetime NFL games further expands the streamer’s presence in live events. After experimenting with one-offs such as a Chris Rock’s Selective Outrage stand-up special, the Love is Blind reunion and The Roast of Tom Brady, Netflix will become the exclusive home of WWE’s weekly flagship show, WWE Raw, in January 2025.

As for the NFL, its partnership with Netflix puts its product on yet another platform that happens to be behind a paywall. In order to have access to the league’s entire slate of games in 2024, fans will need to have access to not only a traditional cable package, but Peacock, Prime Video, ESPN+ and now Netflix, not to mention the NFL Sunday Ticket package.

As for the financials, the Wall Street Journal reports that Netflix is paying about $75 million per game this year. The NFL appears to be making it worth its while, with Jordan Schultz reporting that one of the games will include the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs facing the Pittsburgh Steelers.


About Ben Axelrod

Ben Axelrod is a veteran of the sports media landscape, having most recently worked for NBC's Cleveland affiliate, WKYC. Prior to his time in Cleveland, he covered Ohio State football and the Big Ten for outlets including Cox Media Group, Bleacher Report, Scout and Rivals.