Holiday vibes for fans at the Jacksonville Jaguars and Tampa Bay Buccaneers game at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Netflix, NFL unwrap football for Christmas through 2026

Treading further into territory once reserved for NBA broadcasts, the NFL plans to continue airing games on Christmas Day beyond the 2024 doubleheader on Netflix announced on Wednesday.

NFL Vice President of Media Hans Schroeder said Thursday the league already has outlined plans for Christmas games in 2025 and 2026. Since Christmas is on a Saturday in 2027, it’s a near certainty regular-season games will be played that day, too.

“Amazon will have their traditional Thursday night game in primetime on Christmas on Thursday next year, and we’ll have another game on Netflix in the afternoon,” Schroeder said on a conference call discussing the league schedule for the 2024 season released Wednesday.

“Netflix will have a game on Friday the year after that (2026). We’ll use how we think about ’25 to form how we go into ’26.”

With Christmas falling on a Wednesday in 2024, the four teams involved were scheduled for Saturday games the week before to emulate the Saturday-to-Thursday game week schedule.

Traditionally, the NBA is the only game competing for airtime with a scarce sports broadcast schedule on Christmas Day. After ratings showed sincere interest from fans in Christmas games in 2023, the NFL claims it decided to commit to more in future seasons.

All three games had more than 27 million viewers according to Nielsen, ratings that piqued the interest of the NFL. The games were peeled out of the full network broadcast agreements and Netflix reportedly bid $75 million for each of its three holiday games.

VP of Broadcast Mike North said the NFL “wasn’t thinking about” scheduling on Christmas 2024 at this time last year.

“When you saw the viewership numbers for Christmas for the tripleheader last year, and the tripleheader the year before — I think it’s four of the last five years that we’ve played on Christmas — the fans have spoken,” North said. “They want the games there and our broadcast partners want the games there.”

–Field Level Media

Dec 10, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA;  Santa Claus, the Grinch and other fans cheer for the Chicago Bears in the second half during a game against the Detroit Lions at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports

Netflix to broadcast NFL’s Christmas Day games

As the streaming service pointed out with Wednesday’s announcement, you can’t spell Netflix without NFL.

Netflix has landed a three-year deal to serve as the exclusive host for two Dec. 25 games in 2024 and at least one game on the holiday in both 2025 and 2026.

“There are no live annual events, sports or otherwise, that compare with the audiences NFL football attracts,” Netflix chief content officer Bela Bajaria said. “We’re so excited that the NFL’s Christmas Day games will be only on Netflix.”

The 2024 Christmas Day lineup feature two games that could be key in the AFC playoff picture: the Kansas City Chiefs at the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Baltimore Ravens at the Houston Texans.

“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,” said Hans Schroeder, the NFL’s executive vice president of media distribution.

“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.”

Netflix has had a partnership with the NFL for the past couple of years, starting with the hit series “Quarterback” in 2023. This summer, “Receiver” will chronicle the on- and off-field adventures of five of the league’s best pass-catchers during the 2023 season: Davante Adams, Justin Jefferson, George Kittle, Deebo Samuel and Amon-Ra St. Brown.

–Field Level Media

Dec 20, 2020; Atlanta, Georgia, USA;  Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) waves after defeating the Atlanta Falcons in a NFL game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Netflix to air live roast of Tom Brady on May 5

Tom Brady may need to dust off his helmet, shoulder pads and other protective equipment.

Netflix announced Monday that the seven-time Super Bowl champion quarterback will be the guest of honor at a live and uncensored roast streaming from the Forum in Inglewood, Calif., on May 5 at 8 p.m. ET.

“The Greatest Roast of All-Time” will be hosted by actor and comedian Kevin Hart.

Netflix promised an “all-star lineup of surprise roasters,” who will be taking shots at the man many consider the NFL’s G.O.A.T. (Greatest of All-Time).

The company said it is the first time in history that a roast has aired live and unedited on television or streaming.

“No Helmets. No Mercy. No Brady Rule,” the streaming service posted in a video on X.

Brady, 46, told the “TODAY” show on Monday that he can handle the heat.

“I played in the NFL, so I’m not worried about a bunch of comedians, trust me,” Brady said.

A three-time league MVP and five-time Super Bowl MVP, Brady is the NFL’s all-time leader with 649 touchdown passes and 89,214 passing yards in 23 seasons for the New England Patriots (2000-19) and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2020-22).

–Field Level Media

Jan 7, 2024; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Davante Adams (17) misses a pass in the end zone against the Denver Broncos during the fourth quarter at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Davante Adams, Justin Jefferson among stars of Netflix’s ‘Receiver’

Davante Adams, Justin Jefferson and three other big-name pass catchers are starring in Netflix’s docuseries called “Receiver,” the streaming service announced Tuesday.

The star wideouts of the Las Vegas Raiders and Minnesota Vikings, respectively, will be joined by the San Francisco 49ers duo of Deebo Samuel and George Kittle as well as Detroit Lions wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown.

The eight-episode series is scheduled to start in the summer.

“Receiver” is a continuation of Netflix’s relationship with the NFL that first began with “Quarterback” in 2023. The production is a joint endeavor with NFL Films, Peyton Manning’s Omaha Productions and Patrick Mahomes’ 2PM Productions.

“The natural progression is from a pass to a catch, so we’re excited to dive into the ‘Receiver’ world after the success of our ‘Quarterback’ series,” Netflix executive Gabe Spitzer said. “NFL Films, Omaha Productions and 2PM Productions have delivered again in finding unique and dynamic athletes who will further highlight the drama of this sport on and off the field.”

Manning said he was “excited” to give fans a closer look at some of the best receivers in the NFL.

“As we did with ‘Quarterback,’ we look forward to telling the stories of five incredible receivers, each with their unique personality, skillset and motivation for what drives them to be the best.”

–Field Level Media