NBC is paying $950 million a year to extend its rights to Sunday Night Football through the 2022 season. But NBC Sports Group Chairman Mark Lazarus told “CNBC SportsBiz” that he’s confident the entire NBC Universal family will make a profit off the investment. (Note: Comcast is the parent company of both NBCUniversal and CNBC)
“We had a very disciplined approach and we expect that through the life of this deal we will have a profit on the overall outcome over the nine-year window,” Lazarus said.
“There’s no doubt about it that the financial discipline that is instilled in this company demanded that. There are ancillary benefits, such as promotion, that will have a halo effect, but that wasn’t factored in monetarily.”
As part of the new deal, NBC will get a Thanksgiving primetime game starting next year and have flexible scheduling earlier in the season to prevent having to broadcast less-than-ideal matchups on Sunday Night Football. The rights fee also includes more rights to use NFL Films archives and highlights not only on what will become NBC Sports Network, but also includes being able to use NFL rights on its other TV brands, Telemundo and mun2.
Given record ratings and the fact that fans are watching the games live, Lazarus says the deals, which also included extensions for Fox and CBS , were done at a time when sports on television is booming.
“Sports has never had a greater value in American television,” Lazarus said. “Right now, the immediacy, the need to watch it live is unparalleled. Sports and news are the two genres that really have broken through and the ability to attract advertisers to sports has never been better.
Lazarus' interview will be broadcast on "CNBC SportsBiz" at 7pm ET on Friday night on Versus.
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