The NFL is the most popular sports league in the world, the Super Bowl is an annual event for an audience of hundreds of millions, sport is on the rise in Germany - and will have a new TV partner from 2023: RTL acquired the live broadcasting rights in the Free TV and on RTL for five seasons with weekly live games in league operations - including the Super Bowl and the "Germany Game", a game played in Germany.
As the Cologne-based media company announced, up to three games per week will be broadcast live on RTL and NITRO exclusively on free TV starting with the 2023/24 season. In addition, one game per week can be seen exclusively on the streaming service RTL. Football fans can look forward to around 80 live broadcasts between September and February each season.
For the NFL, Germany is the most important growth market, and in this sense the deal is also commented on by the headquarters of the league, which generates double-digit billions every year: "In this new partnership, RTL will play a key role in supporting the NFL in football more accessible and more widely available, and to provide new and existing NFL fans with the kind of coverage that will further deepen their connection to the sport," Sameer Pabari, NFL's managing director of international media, said in the statement.
The league's expansion strategy also includes awarding regular season games to Europe. London has already hosted the NFL giants several times, and now, after years of waiting, Germany's growing importance in the league is also being taken into account: On November 13th, an NFL season game will take place in Munich for the first time in Germany. The NFC West's Seattle Seahawks take on two-time Super Bowl winners and current NFC South champions, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers -- led by quarterback superstar Tom Brady. In addition to Munich, Frankfurt has been selected by the NFL as a location to host NFL regular season games in Germany over the next four years.
"According to a recent AGF study, American football, and especially the NFL, is already the second most popular TV sport among viewers between the ages of 14 and 49," said Stephan Schmitter, Managing Director of RTL NEWS in a statement from the broadcaster. In February, the Los Angeles Rams' win over the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl LVI by 3 a.m. attracted up to 1.84 million Germans in front of their TV sets and ensured record market shares.
"In the NFL we have a highly professional partner who is also geared towards growth. We are very much looking forward to working with the most successful professional league in the world," announced Henning Tewes, Managing Director of RTL Television. "The lush sports rights package is supplemented by extensive highlight and framework reporting across all platforms," said a statement on Tuesday. "With the acquisition of the NFL rights, we are strengthening our programs for many years to come," commented Tewes.
As the broadcaster reports, the agreement includes the draft in April, the preseason and regular season, the entire playoffs and the international mega sporting event of the year, the Super Bowl. No information was given about the financial volume of the deal.