Matt Case - May 15th, 2024 - 1:19pm PDT 

    Netflix Enters NFL Market, Adding to the High Cost for Fans to Watch Every Game

    Netflix has taken a significant step into the sports broadcasting arena by securing the rights to air two NFL games on Christmas Day, part of a three-year deal that will see the streaming giant broadcast at least one game annually through 2026. This move makes Netflix the latest addition to a growing list of streaming services that offer NFL games, increasing the overall cost for fans who want to watch every match.

    MarketWatch recently analyzed the costs associated with viewing all NFL games this season, revealing that fans would need to spend approximately $1,610. This figure includes expenses for cable TV or a YouTube TV subscription, NFL Sunday Ticket, Amazon Prime Video, Peacock, ESPN+, NFL+, and Netflix.

    Breaking down the costs, cable TV for network games is estimated at $876 annually. NFL Sunday Ticket, available through YouTube TV, adds another $389. An Amazon Prime Video subscription costs $139 per year. ESPN+ is the priciest streaming option at $99 annually, while Peacock and NFL+ are relatively cheaper at $60 and $40, respectively. A monthly Netflix subscription, required for the new Christmas Day games, is $7.

    Kansas City Chiefs defensive end George Karlaftis (56) beats San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle (85) to a first-quarter fumble by the 49ers during Super Bowl LVIII on Feb. 11, 2024, in Las Vegas. (Emily Curiel/The Kansas City Star/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

    While fans can attempt to mitigate these costs through free trials and short-term subscriptions, the distribution of games across various platforms is designed to retain subscribers. Unlike Netflix's one-time Christmas Day arrangement, Thursday night games are available on Amazon Prime throughout the season. Peacock will exclusively broadcast three games this season, including the NFL's first regular-season game in Sao Paulo, Brazil, a regular-season matchup in September, and a playoff game in January.

    Netflix's NFL deal is part of its broader strategy to become a hub for live sporting events. The platform recently announced that it will host WWE's flagship show, Monday Night Raw, starting in 2025 and will exclusively air a high-profile boxing match between Jake Paul and Mike Tyson in July.

    This expansion into live sports marks a new era for Netflix, but it also underscores the increasing financial burden on fans who wish to follow all NFL games.