Sports broadcasting contracts in the United States

In the United States, sports are televised on various broadcast networks, national and specialty sports cable channels, and regional sports networks. U.S. sports rights are estimated to be worth a total of $22.42 billion in 2019, about 44 percent of the total worldwide sports media market.[1] U.S. networks are willing to pay a significant amount of money for TV sports contracts because it attracts large amounts of viewership; live sport broadcasts accounted for 44 of the 50 most watched U.S. TV broadcasts in 2016.[2]

Among these TV contracts, NBC holds a $7.75 billion contract, signed in 2014, to air the Olympics through the 2032 games,[3] making it a major source of revenue for the International Olympic Committee.[4] The broadcast deals of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), running through 2032 across various networks, were worth $8.8 billion in 2018.[5]

The U.S. is home to four of the top six professional sports leagues by revenue in the world: Major League Baseball (MLB), National Basketball Association (NBA), National Football League (NFL), and National Hockey League (NHL). The NFL has the largest TV contracts, and earns over $6 billion annually from its contracts with FoxCBSNBCESPN and DirecTV for the 2014 through 2022 seasons.[6] MLB earns $1.5 billion annually from its contracts signed in 2012 with ESPN, Fox, and Turner Sports (TBS) for the 2014 through 2021 seasons.[7] In 2014, the NBA signed a nine-year television deal with ABC/ESPN and TNT that generates annual league TV revenues of $2.66 billion beginning with the 2016–17 season,[8] while the NHL earns $200 million annually from a 10-year contract signed with NBC Sports in 2011 that runs through the 2020–21 season.[9]

merican football[edit]

National Football League[edit]

Main article: National Football League on television

Since the 1960s, all regular season and playoff games broadcast in the United States have been aired by national television networks. Until the broadcast contract ended in 2013, the terrestrial television networks CBSNBC, and Fox, as well as cable television’s ESPN, paid a combined total of US$20.4 billion[10] to broadcast NFL games. From 2014 to 2022, the same networks will pay $39.6 billion for exactly the same broadcast rights.[11] The NFL thus holds broadcast contracts with four companies (ViacomCBSComcastFox Corporation, and ESPN Inc.—which is majority owned by The Walt Disney Company, respectively) that control a combined vast majority of the country’s television product. League-owned NFL Network, on cable television, also broadcasts a selected number of games nationally. In 2017, the NFL games attracted the top three rates for a 30-second advertisement: $699,602 for Sunday Night Football, $550,709 for Thursday Night Football (NBC), and $549,791 for Thursday Night Football (CBS).[12]

For the 2020 NFL season, two extra wild card playoff games are being added to the schedule; CBS and NBC acquired rights to these new games, with both paying roughly $70 million each.[13]

Television[edit]

PackageRightsholderExtent of coverageCurrent contract term
AFCCBSAFC Sunday regional coverageOne Thanksgiving Day gameTwo wild card gamesOne divisional playoff game (two in even-numbered years)AFC Championship GamePart of Super Bowl rights rotation.2014–2022[14][15][16][17]
NFCFoxNFC Sunday regional coverageOne Thanksgiving Day gameOne wild card gameOne divisional playoff game (two in odd-numbered years)NFC Championship GamePart of Super Bowl rights rotation.
Sunday Night FootballNBCSunday primetime game during regular seasonNFL Kickoff GameThanksgiving Day game in primetimeTwo wild card gamesOne divisional playoff gamePart of Super Bowl rights rotation
Monday Night FootballESPNABCMonday primetime game during regular season, with doubleheader during the opening weekOne wild card gamePro BowlOption to simulcast wild card game and Pro Bowl on ABC2014–2021
Thursday Night FootballNFL Network18 games, primarily on Thursday nights (excluding the Kickoff Game and Thanksgiving, which are part of the SNF package), including at least one NFL London Game, and late-season Saturday games.7 games are exclusive to NFL Network2018–2022.[18][19]
FoxProduction of all gamesSimulcast of 11 games with NFL Network

Digital and out-of-market[edit]

RightsholderExtent of coverageCurrent contract term
Television rightsholdersStreaming of games aired by their channelsPart of television contracts. Streaming on smartphone-sized devices was exclusive to Verizon Wireless subscribers prior to 2018. CBS requires CBS All Access subscription.[20][21]
DirecTVNFL Sunday Ticket; exclusive carrier and marketer of this out-of-market sports package.2014–2022[22]
Verizon MediaStreaming of in-market and national games on free-to-air television via Yahoo! Sports.2018–2022[23][24]
Amazon.com Inc.Streaming simulcast of Fox-aired Thursday Night Football games on Prime Video and Twitch. 2020-2022 renewal adds one game per-season that will be fully exclusive (outside of home team markets) to Amazon worldwide.2018–2022[25][26]

Radio[edit]

Westwood One has exclusive national radio rights through the 2022 season.[27][28]

Sports USA has national radio rights to regular season Sunday afternoon doubleheaders sublicensed from Dial Global. Compass Media Networks has national radio rights to regular season Sunday afternoon games for 10 teams sublicensed from Dial Global.

Each NFL team has local television stations with rights to preseason games and radio stations with rights to all games.See also: List of current National Football League broadcasters

Sirius XM has exclusive satellite radio rights to home, away, and, if available, national broadcast radio feeds of all games. Also has rights to online streaming of games for its subscribers starting with the 2011 season.

College football[edit]

Main articles: College football on television § Television stations, and College football on television

College football coverage is dependent on negotiations between the broadcaster and the college football conference or team. The televised games may change from year-to-year depending on which teams are having a strong season, although some traditional rivalry games are broadcast each year. Some games are traditionally associated with a specific event or holiday, and viewing the game itself can become a holiday tradition for fans.

Post-season bowl games, including the College Football Playoff, are presently all televised, most of them by the ESPN networks.[29] The television broadcast rights to all six CFP bowls and the National Championship are owned by ESPN through at least the 2025 season.[30] ESPN then reached 12-year agreements to retain rights to the Rose Bowl, Orange Bowl, and Sugar Bowl following the dissolution of the Bowl Championship Series.[31] In November, ESPN reached a 12-year deal to broadcast the remaining three bowls, the championship game, as well as shoulder programming such as ranking shows; as a whole, the contract is valued at around $470 million per year, or nearly $5.7 billion for the life of the contract.[32]

Regular-season

Post-season

Radio

CFL[edit]

Main article: Canadian Football League § Foreign coverage

Since 2013, ESPN’s networks have held rights to the Canadian Football League; the league’s domestic rights are held by TSN, a Canadian sports channel that ESPN holds a minority ownership stake in. This agreement was renewed in 2014 for five years, aligned with TSN’s domestic contract, with a stipulation that at least 17 games would be carried on an ESPN linear network each season (primarily ESPN2), including the Grey Cup. Originally ESPN3 carried all games not carried on one of the linear channels online, later ESPN moved those games to ESPN+.[37][38][39][40]

XFL[edit]

Main article: XFL (2020) § Broadcasting

The new incarnation of the XFL divided its broadcast rights between ABC/ESPN and Fox Sports under a three-year deal. XFL games were split among ABC, Fox, ESPN, and Fox Sports 1 (with a small number of games scheduled for ESPN2 and Fox Sports 2). ESPN held rights to the championship game. The Wall Street Journal reported via inside sources that neither the broadcasters or the league made any upfront payments, but that the XFL sold the in-game sponsorship inventory. The networks covered the production costs, held the digital rights to their telecasts, and the right to sell the conventional commercial inventory during their games.[41][42] The league filed for bankruptcy and folded when the first season was cut short due to the Covid-19 pandemic. However, during the bankruptcy process, Fox expressed interest in broadcasting games if new owners could revive the league.[43] The league was sold to a group headed by actor Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson for $15 million.[44]

Baseball[edit]

Major League Baseball[edit]

National televisionMain article: Major League Baseball on television

On August 28, 2012, it was announced that ESPN and Major League Baseball had agreed on a new eight-year deal that greatly increases the network’s studio and game content across all of its platforms. Also it will increased ESPN’s average yearly payment from about $360 million to approximately $700 million.[45] ESPN also will return to broadcasting postseason baseball beginning in 2014 with one of two wild-card games each season. The network will alternate airing the American League and National League wild-card games each year. It also will have the rights to all potential regular-season tiebreaker games starting in 2014.[46]

On September 19, 2012, Sports Business Daily[47][48] reported that Major League Baseball would agree to separate eight-year television deals[49] with Fox Sports and Turner Sports[50] through the 2021 season. Fox would reportedly pay around $4 billion over eight years (close to $500 million per year) while Turner would pay around $2.8 billion over eight years (more than $300 million per year). Under the new deals, Fox and TBS‘s coverage would essentially be the same as in the 2007–2013 contract with the exception of Fox and TBS splitting coverage of the Division Series, which TBS has broadcast exclusively dating back to 2007. More importantly, Fox would carry some of the games (such as the Saturday afternoon Game of the Week) on its all-sports channel, Fox Sports 1. Sources also said that was possible that Fox would sell some Division Series games to MLB Network, which did end up occurring.

On November 15, 2018, Fox renewed its rights, set to start in 2022, through 2028. The contract maintains Fox’s current coverage structure, but with expanded digital rights, and the commitment to air more games on the Fox broadcast network when the new deal takes effect.[51][52] Fox also committed to airing at least two of its League Championship Series games, as well as any Game 7, on the broadcast network beginning in 2019; it had been criticized for airing only Game 2 of the 2018 National League Championship Series, while placing the rest on Fox Sports 1.[53]

On June 13, 2020 Turner Sports renewed its rights, set to begin in 2022 and end in 2028. The new Contract will maintain Turner’s rights to its MLB Coverage including a move to a weeknight game and more postseason games including seven More Wild Card Games along with seven More Division Series games and seven more League Championship Series games. when the new deal goes into effect.[54]

  • Fox:[55] 12 Saturday afternoon games; All-Star Game; World Series
  • FS1: 40 Saturday afternoon games; two Division Series; one League Championship Series.
  • TBS: Sunday afternoon games carried by TBS for the last thirteen weeks of the season. Postseason coverage consists of one Wild Card Game; two Division Series; one League Championship Series that Fox Sports does not air. For postseason only, TNT serves as an overflow channel.[56]
  • ESPN: Opening Day, (exclusive coverage) Sunday night, Monday night, and Wednesday night games plus occasional broadcasts during the week and on certain holidays, such as Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Labor Day. All-Star festivities including the annual Home Run Derby. Airs any end of season tiebreaking games and one Wild Card Game.[57]
  • MLB Network: Airs 26 non-exclusive MLB Network Showcase games, and two Division Series games per-season. The channel also carries various other games simulcast from local broadcasters.

Local televisionMain article: List of current Major League Baseball broadcasters

National radio

  • ESPN Radio: a Saturday game of the week, Sunday night, opening day and holiday games, plus the All-Star Game and the entire postseason.

Local radio

  • MLB teams also contract with local broadcasters to air games on radio. Several teams have multiple affiliates covering those games. The flagship stations can air all games of the teams they contract with, other affiliates must allow ESPN radio coverage to air during the postseason.

Caribbean Series[edit]

ESPN Deportes has Spanish-language TV and radio rights to the Caribbean Series.

College Baseball[edit]

Post-season ESPN currently broadcasts the College World Series on its family of networks.

Regular-season Nationally televised regular-season games are contracted through each conference and appear on beIN SportsCBS Sports Network, ESPN/ESPN2/ESPNU, FS1, Fox Sports regional networksFox College Sports, including several school- and conference-specific networks (BTNSEC NetworkBYUtvPac-12 Network, and Longhorn Network).

Little League Baseball[edit]

ESPN has rights to broadcast the entire Little League World Series, as well as the finals of the eight regional tournaments that determine the U.S. representatives in that competition. It distributes coverage among its family of networks and ABC; the final is aired on ABC.

Softball[edit]

Minor League Baseball[edit]

MLB Network has a contract with MiLB to air one game each week.[58]

Nippon Professional Baseball[edit]

Other Baseball Leagues[edit]

Basketball[edit]

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National Basketball Association[edit]

National television[edit]

Main article: National Basketball Association on television

On October 6, 2014, NBA announced a nine-year $24 billion ($2.7 billion/year) extension with ESPNABC and Turner Sports beginning with the 2016–17 season and running through the 2024–25 season[60] – the second most expensive media rights in the world after NFL and on a par with Premier League in annual rights fee from 2016–17 to 2018–19 season.[61]

  • ABC: 19 regular-season games (Christmas Day double or triple header, and late-season games on Saturday nights and Sunday afternoons); some first- and second-round playoff games (mostly on weekend afternoons); NBA Finals through 2025
  • ESPN: 82 regular-season games (mostly on Wednesday and Friday night doubleheaders; occasional Sunday and Monday night games); up to 30 playoff games during the first two rounds conference semi-final games and one of the conference finals per-season through 2025.
  • TNT: 67 regular-season games (mostly on Thursday night doubleheaders); All-Star Weekend; up to 45 playoff games during the first two rounds; conference semi-final games and one of the conference finals per-season through 2025
  • NBA TV: 106 regular-season games on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Saturday night and up to 9 postseason games through 2025

Local television[edit]

Additionally, local or regional broadcasters contract with the NBA team in their area for the right to broadcast a number of regular-season games locally. These broadcasters can be traditional over-the-air television stations as well as regional cable sports channels. WGN, then a Chicago-based superstation, broadcast a limited number of Chicago Bulls regular season games on their national feed until 2014, fewer than they provided locally. If ESPN chooses to opt out of airing all of the games on their night, NBA TV airs a game in its place. Games in the first round of the playoffs can be aired by regional broadcasters, unless the national broadcaster has exclusive rights. Games in the first round not selected by national broadcasters are usually broadcast by NBA TV.

National radio[edit]

  • ESPN Radio: usually one game from the Sunday afternoon package, one game on Thursday night, and postseason coverage including all games in the Conference Finals and the NBA Finals

Local radio[edit]

NBA teams also contract with local radio broadcasters to air their games. Teams may also have affiliates air their games.

Women’s National Basketball Association[edit]

In 2013, the WNBA and ESPN signed a six-year extension on the broadcast deal to cover 2017–2022. In the new deal, a total of 30 games would be shown each season on ESPN networks. Each team would receive around $1 million per year.[62]

On April 22, 2019, CBS Sports Network reached a multi-year deal to televise 40 regular-season weekend and primetime WNBA games, beginning in the 2019 season.[63][64]

  • ESPN/ABC: select weeknight games, All Star Game, playoffs and WNBA Finals. Provisional coverage on ABC through 2025.
  • NBATV: select games throughout the week.
  • CBS Sports Network: select games on Saturdays and weekends.

College basketball[edit]

Main article: Men’s college basketball on television

Postseason

  • NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball TournamentCBS/Turner under the NCAA March Madness brand
    • Every game in the NCAA Tournament is telecast live nationally on either CBS or one of three Turner networks—TBSTNT, or truTV. On April 22, 2010, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) reached a 14-year agreement,[65] worth US$10.8 billion, with CBS and the Turner Broadcasting System to receive joint broadcast rights to the Division I men’s college basketball tournament.[66] On April 16, 2016, the contract was extended to 2032 in an $8.8 billion deal.[67] Coverage is split as follows:
      • The First Four (the expanded “play-in” round) airs on truTV.
      • In the first and second rounds, all four networks air games. CBS airs one “featured” game in each time slot, with the three Turner networks carrying other games.
      • The Sweet Sixteen (regional semifinals) are on CBS and TBS
      • For 2014 and 2015, two Elite Eight (regional finals) aired on CBS. TBS broadcast the national semifinials, and CBS the title game. Beginning in 2016, TBS airs all three Final Four games in even-numbered years and CBS in odd-numbered years through 2032.
    • All games are also streamed via the NCAA/CBS March Madness On Demand service. The new contract will allow Turner to develop its own streaming service for the tournament, alongside MMOD.
  • NIT and NIT Season Tip-OffESPN
  • NCAA Women’s Division I Basketball TournamentESPN
  • NAIA Men’s Basketball ChampionshipsESPN3

Regular season

FIBA[edit]

Other Leagues[edit]

Boxing[edit]

Cricket[edit]

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Curling[edit]

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More than 300 hours of live curling, broadcast by TSN in Canada, will be live-streamed on ESPN3, including:

Cycling[edit]

eSports[edit]

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Golf[edit]

Men’s majors[edit]

EventRightsholderExtent of coverageCurrent contract term/notes
Masters TournamentCBS (free-to-air)Weekend round coverage1956–present (Augusta National Golf Club does not use long-term contracts, but has consistently chosen CBS as its broadcast partner).[73][74]
ESPN (subscription)Early-round coverageESPN replaced USA Network in 2008, who first added first- and second-round coverage on cable in 1982.[75]
PGA ChampionshipCBS (free-to-air)Weekend round coverage2020–2030, aired since 1991.[76]
ESPN (subscription)Early-round coverage, weekend morning coverage2020–2030. ESPN succeeded TNT as cable rightsholder.[76]
ESPN+ (subscription streaming)Supplemental coverage during television windows2020–2030[76]
U.S. OpenNBC (free-to-air)Late-afternoon/primetime coverage of early rounds, weekend round coverage2020–2026; contract includes all USGA national championships.
Golf Channel (subscription)Early-round coverage
The Open ChampionshipNBC (free-to-air)Weekend round coverage2016–2028 (first year sub-licensed from former rightsholder ESPN)[77][78]
Golf Channel (subscription)Early-round coverage2016–2028[77]

Women’s majors[edit]

EventRightsholderExtent of coverageCurrent contract term/notes
ANA InspirationGolf Channel (subscription)Full coveragePart of LPGA Tour broadcast rights.
Women’s PGA ChampionshipNBC (free-to-air)Weekend round coverage[79]
Golf Channel (subscription)Early-round coverage
U.S. Women’s OpenNBC (free-to-air)Late-afternoon/primetime coverage of early rounds, weekend round coverage2020–2026; contract includes all USGA national championships.
Golf Channel (subscription)Early-round coverage
Evian ChampionshipGolf Channel (subscription)Full coveragePart of LPGA Tour broadcast rights.
Women’s British OpenNBC (free-to-air)Weekend round coverage2016–2028 (part of Open Championship broadcast rights)[77][78][80]
Golf Channel (subscription)Early-round coverage

Tours and other events[edit]

Event/TourRightsholderExtent of coverageCurrent contract term/notes
PGA TourCBS (free-to-air)Weekend round coverage of at least 20 tournaments per-season.Alternates with NBC to broadcast the three FedEx Cup Playoffs tournaments beginning 2022.2011–2030[81][82][83][84][85]
NBC (free-to-air)Weekend round coverage of at least 10 tournaments per-season, including the WGC Match PlayThe Players Championship,Final two events of the FedEx Cup Playoffs (final three alternating with CBS beginning in 2022)Presidents Cup
Golf Channel (subscription)Early-round coverage of all tournaments, weekend coverage of tournaments not aired by CBS or NBC, option to air supplemental coverage during NBC broadcast windows. Also airs coverage of the senior PGA Tour Champions circuit and the developmental Korn Ferry Tour.
NBC Sports Gold (subscription streaming)PGA Tour Live coverage before Golf Channel windows, featured groups during Golf Channel windows, on-demand content. Moves to ESPN+ in 2022.[85]2019–2021[86]
LPGA TourGolf Channel (subscription)Exclusive coverage of most events (selected events may have weekend coverage on NBC)Current contract ends in 2021 (aligned with the current PGA Tour broadcast rights; as part of an agreement reached in 2016, the PGA Tour is responsible for managing the LPGA Tour’s media rights). Includes the Solheim Cup (which aired weekend coverage on NBC for the first time in 2017).[87][88]
Ryder CupNBC (free-to-air)Weekend coverage2014–2030[89][90]
Golf Channel (subscription)Weekday rounds

Ice hockey[edit]

National Hockey League[edit]

Main article: History of the National Hockey League on United States television

On April 19, 2011, NBC Sports and the then-Versus channel announced they had reached a ten-year extension (through 2020–2021) to the television contract with the National Hockey League worth nearly 2 billion dollars over the life of the contract. As part of the announcement, the chairman of NBC Sports, Dick Ebersol announced that the Versus channel would be renamed “within 90 days,” in order to reflect the synergy of the two networks after the UniversalComcast merger.[91] The said network was renamed the NBC Sports Network on January 2, 2012.[92]

  • NBCSN: At least two regular-season games/week (mainly on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday nights, with the flagship Wednesday Night Hockey having an exclusive weekly window), weeknight playoff games (non-exclusive during the first round, exclusive beginning in the second), Stanley Cup Finals (games 2, 3), through 2021.[93]
  • NBC: Thanksgiving Showdown (Black Friday) game, Winter Classic and Stadium Series games, All-Star Game, Sunday afternoon late-season games, weekend afternoon/Saturday night playoff games, and Stanley Cup Finals (games 1, 4–7), through 2021.[93]
  • NHL Network: Monday, Friday and occasional Sunday games. Simulcasts of CBC/Sportsnet’s Hockey Night in Canada (Saturday nights); the simulcast can be blacked out if a local channel is carrying coverage of the same game.
  • CNBC and USA: Stanley Cup Playoffs overflows

Local or regional broadcasters contract with the NHL team in their area for the right to broadcast a number of regular season games locally

Radio

Westwood One through its NBC Sports Radio division (Stanley Cup Finals); games also simulcast on Sirius XM satellite radio.

National Women’s Hockey League[edit]

The NWHL has announced a landmark partnership with Twitch that will see the platform become the exclusive live-streaming home of the women’s professional league.[94]

Southern Professional Hockey League[edit]

  • America One: Regular season, playoffs and Championships through 2014

College Ice Hockey[edit]

Other Ice Hockey Leagues[edit]

Horse Racing[edit]

Triple Crown

Breeders’ Cup NBC and NBCSN have the Breeders’ Cup World Championships rights, with most races airing on NBCSN and the Breeders’ Cup Classic airing in primetime on NBC.[97]

Road to the Kentucky Derby NBC and NBCSN have the rights to all “Road to the Kentucky Derby” races, including the Florida DerbySanta Anita Derby and Blue Grass Stakes races from March – April.[97]

Travers Stakes

For the first time, Fox acquired the rights to the Travers Stakes.

Lacrosse[edit]

Major League Lacrosse[edit]

  • ESPN+ and Lax Sports Network

Women’s Professional Lacrosse League[edit]

National Lacrosse League[edit]

Premier Lacrosse League[edit]

College Lacrosse[edit]

Varsity lacrosse

Club Lacrosse

  • MCLA: Semi-finals and Championship of both division 1 and 2 broadcast nationally on Fox College Sports, usually the Pacific affiliate. Championships also simulcast on the MCLA website.
  • BYUtv Sports: At least one home MCLA game featuring BYU, but BYUtv Sports has rights to all home games.

International Lacrosse[edit]

Mixed martial arts[edit]

Motor sports[edit]

NASCAR[edit]

See also: NASCAR on television and radio

Fox Sports and NBC Sports have contracts for all NASCAR events through at least 2024. On October 15, 2012, NASCAR and the Fox Sports Media Group (FSMG) announced a new $2.4 billion eight-year deal, a 30% increase from their previous deal.[101] On July 23, 2013, NASCAR and the NBC Sports Group announced a new $4.4 billion ten-year deal.[102][103][104] Ten days later on August 1, 2013, NASCAR and Fox extended and expanded their agreement, paying an additional $1.4 billion to do so, to complete NASCAR’s new TV package through the 2024 season.[105][106]

IndyCar[edit]

Formula One[edit]

ESPN aired Formula One from 1984 to 1997. Speedvision and Fox Sports Net shared broadcasting rights from 1998 to 2000. Speedvision and its successor Speed Channel continued to broadcast the championship until 2012. Fox aired select races from 2007 to 2012. NBC Sports had English-language TV broadcasting rights from 2013 through 2017. Races were televised by NBC, NBCSN or CNBC and streamed on NBC Sports Live Extra.[107][108]

ESPN became the new broadcaster in 2018. The network unveiled plans to show over 100 hours of F1 programming during their first season returning to the sport. This included plans to show every practice and qualifying session in some capacity. Race broadcasts would be spread across ESPN and ESPN2 with plans to show live coverage of Canada GP, the American and Mexican Grand Prix live on ABC while also showing the Monaco Grand Prix on tape-delay.[109] March 1 of that year they announced the launch of their own OTT service called F1 TV Pro what show races live and on-demand.[110]

ESPN Deportes has the current Spanish-language rights.

IMSA[edit]

Motorcycle racing[edit]

Drag racing[edit]

Short track racing[edit]

Off-road racing[edit]

Other[edit]

Multi-discipline events[edit]

Rugby league[edit]

  • National Rugby League:
    • Fox Sports: holds the rights to three matches for each round of the regular season, and for all games part of the Finals Series, including the Grand Final. Though this is true, no where near all of the content held ends up being aired.
    • WatchNRL: shows every match of the season, including the Finals Series and Grand Final.
  • State of Origin:
  • Super League and Challenge Cup:
    • Fox Soccer Plus airs all televised Super League matches, select matches from the Championship and all televised Challenge Cup ties, including the final. Fox Soccer Plus no longer foresees airing sports other than soccer. The Super League Grand Final airs on Fox Sports 2.

Rugby union[edit]

NBC Sports has rights to all World Rugby international events through 2023, including:[115]

NBC Sports also has the rights to:

Rugby sevens[edit]

Soccer[edit]

International competitions[edit]

EventCountryBroadcasterBroadcast Details
FIFA World Cup finalsFox, FS1English-language rights for 2022 and 2026
TelemundoUniversoTelemundo DeportesSpanish-language rights for 2022 and 2026
FIFA World Cup qualificationESPNEnglish-language rights; UEFA European qualification matches for the 2022 FIFA World Cup
UnivisionSpanish-language rights; UEFA European qualification matches for the 2022 FIFA World Cup
VacantEnglish-language rights; CONCACAF qualification matches for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, except USA and Mexico home matches
Telemundo, Universo, Telemundo DeportesSpanish-language rights; CONCACAF qualification matches for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, except USA and Mexico home matches
FITE TVEnglish and Spanish-language rights; CONMEBOL qualification matches for the 2022 FIFA World Cup
MycujooEnglish-language rights; Selected AFC qualification matches for the 2022 FIFA World Cup first and second round only.
YouTubeEnglish and French-language rights; CAF qualification matches for the 2022 FIFA World Cup
FIFA Club World CupFS1, FS2English-language rights
Telemundo, UniversoSpanish-language rights
FIFA Women’s World Cup finalsFox, FS1, FS2English-language rights for 2019 and 2023
Telemundo, Universo, Telemundo DeportesSpanish-language rights for 2019 and 2023
UEFA European ChampionshipABC, ESPN, ESPN2English-language rights to Euro 2020 qualifying and finals
UnivisionSpanish-language rights to Euro 2020 qualifying and finals
UEFA Nations LeagueESPN/ESPN+English-language rights through 2021
UnivisionSpanish-language rights through 2021
UEFA Champions LeagueCBS SportsEnglish-language rights through 2024
UnivisionSpanish-language rights through 2024; 97 matches shown on TV
UEFA Europa LeagueCBS SportsEnglish-language rights through 2024
UnivisionSpanish-language rights through 2024; 70 live matches across TUDN, UniMás and Galavisión
UEFA Europa Conference LeagueCBS SportsEnglish-language rights through 2024
UnivisionSpanish-language rights through 2024
UEFA Super CupCBS SportsEnglish-language rights through 2023
UnivisionSpanish-language rights through 2023
UEFA Women’s Champions LeagueCBS SportsEnglish-language rights through 2021 or 2024; seven single-leg matches (starting from quarter finals) for 2019–20 season but in 2020–21 only aired one final match.
beIN SportsEnglish and Spanish-language rights until 2021; PSG matches only, excluding final
Copa AméricaESPN+English-language rights
Telemundo DeportesSpanish-language rights
Copa LibertadoresbeIN SportsEnglish and Spanish-language rights until 2022
Copa Sudamericana
Recopa Sudamericana
CONCACAF Gold CupFox, FS1, FS2English-language rights; Deal runs through 2022
UnivisionSpanish-language rights; Deal runs through 2022; Coverage on Univision or TUDN
CONCACAF Nations LeagueESPNEnglish-language rights; USA matches only, respectively
Fox
FloSportsEnglish-language rights; excluding USA matches
UnivisionSpanish-language rights; Deal runs through 2022; Coverage on Univision or TUDN
CONCACAF Champions LeagueFox SportsEnglish-language rights
UnivisionSpanish-language rights; Deal runs through 2022; Coverage on Univision or TUDN
CONCACAF LeagueFox SportsEnglish-language rights
UnivisionSpanish-language rights; Deal runs through 2022; Coverage airs on both Univision and TUDN
AFC Asian CupDAZN USAEnglish-language rights; 7 matches from quarter-finals.
AFC Champions LeagueDAZN USAEnglish-language rights; semi-finals & final
Africa Cup of NationsbeIN SportsEnglish and Spanish-language rights
CAF Champions LeaguebeIN SportsEnglish and Spanish-language rights
CAF Confederation CupbeIN SportsEnglish and Spanish-language rights
CAF Super CupbeIN SportsEnglish and Spanish-language rights
OFC Nations CupMycujooEnglish-language rights
OFC Champions LeagueMycujooEnglish-language rights

Other international competitions/tournaments

National teams

National competitions[edit]

EventCountryBroadcasterBroadcast Details
Major League Soccer
(History)
ABC, ESPN, ESPN2At least 34 matches per season, on either ESPN or ESPN2, plus select MLS Cup playoff matches. ABC airs the MLS Cup in odd-numbered years, and ESPN airs the MLS All-Star Game in even-numbered years
Fox, FS1At least 34 matches per season, on either Fox or FS1, plus select MLS Cup playoff matches. FOX airs the MLS Cup in even-numbered years, and FS1 airs the MLS All-Star Game in odd-numbered years
Univision, UniMás, TUDNAt least 34 matches per season, on either Univision, UniMás or TUDN, two MLS Cup playoff matches and Spanish-language rights to the MLS Cup and MLS All-Star game
U.S. Open CupESPN and ESPN+English & Spanish-language rights
USL ChampionshipESPN and ESPN+
USL League OneESPN+
National Independent Soccer AssociationMycujoo
beIN Sports
USL League TwoMycujoo
National Premier Soccer LeagueMycujoo
United Premier Soccer LeagueMycujoo
National Women’s Soccer LeagueCBS SportsEnglish-language rights through 2022
TwitchEnglish-language rights; Deal runs through 2022; 24 matches live and free
Women’s Premier Soccer LeagueMycujoo
United Women’s SoccerMycujoo
College CupESPNU
Major Arena Soccer LeagueEleven Sports
Canadian Premier LeagueOneSoccerEnglish-language rights, all matches
Fox SportsEnglish-language rights, select matches
Canadian ChampionshipOneSoccerEnglish-language rights
Liga MXFox SportsEnglish-language
ESPN DeportesFox DeportesUnivisionSpanish-language
Copa MXFox SportsEnglish-language
ESPN Deportes, Fox Deportes, TUDNSpanish-language
Campeón de CampeonesUnivisionSpanish-language
Supercopa MXUnivisionSpanish-language
Leagues CupESPNEnglish-language
UnivisionSpanish-language
Campeones CupESPNEnglish-language
UnivisionSpanish-language
Premier LeagueNBC Sports GroupCoverage airs on NBC, NBCSN, Peacock, NBC Sports Gold and occasionally CNBC in English and on Telemundo and Universo in Spanish. Rights run through the 2021–22 season.
English Football LeagueESPN+English and Spanish-language rights, select matches only
FA CupESPN+English and Spanish-language rights until 2021
Women’s FA CupESPN+English and Spanish-language rights. Final only
FA Community ShieldESPN+English and Spanish-language rights
Women’s FA Community ShieldESPN+English and Spanish-language rights. Final only.
EFL CupESPN+English and Spanish-language rights
EFL TrophyESPN+Final only
FA Youth CupESPN+
FA Women’s Super LeagueNBC SportsEnglish-language rights
La LigabeIN SportsEnglish and Spanish-language rights until 2024
Segunda División
Copa del ReyESPNEnglish and Spanish-language rights until 2022
Copa de la Reina
Supercopa de España
Supercopa de España Femenina
BundesligaESPNEnglish and Spanish-language rights until 2025/26 season
2. Bundesliga
DFL-Supercup
DFB-PokalEnglish and Spanish language rights
Serie AESPNEnglish and Spanish-language rights until 2021
Rai ItaliaItalian language rights
Serie BDAZNEnglish language rights
Coppa ItaliaESPNEnglish and Spanish-language rights until 2020/21
Rai ItaliaItalian language rights
Supercoppa ItalianaESPNEnglish and Spanish-language rights until 2020
Rai ItaliaItalian language rights
Ligue 1beIN SportsEnglish and Spanish-language rights until 2024
TV5MondeFrench language rights for until 2021
Coupe de FrancebeIN SportsEnglish and Spanish-language rights
TV5MondeFrench language rights
Trophée des ChampionsbeIN SportsEnglish and Spanish-language rights
TV5MondeFrench language rights
Division 1 FéminineESPN+English-language rights

Other national competitions

Swimming[edit]

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NBC Sports has rights to the following events with coverage varying on NBC and NBCSN

Tennis[edit]

Australian Open

  • ESPN and Tennis Channel have the contracts through 2021. Coverage is aired on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN+, ESPN3, Tennis Channel and DirecTV.

French Open

  • NBC Sports and Tennis Channel have the contracts through 2024. Coverage is aired on NBC, NBCSN, Tennis Channel and DirecTV.
    • Tennis Channel shows live coverage in the morning and afternoon on weekdays. NBC shows weekend morning and Memorial Day early round matches in the afternoon via tape delay. If a match is still being played, it will be shown live. Tennis Channel cannot show NBC’s tape delayed matches. NBC also airs one women’s semi-final and one men’s semi-final, broadcasting live in the Eastern Time Zone, delayed in all other time zones. NBCSN also broadcasts the second men’s semi-final, live in all time zones. NBC broadcasts both finals live, and NBCSN broadcasts the women’s doubles final live.

The Championships, Wimbledon

  • ESPN[117][118] has the contract through 2023. Tennis Channel and DirecTV also provide coverage. Coverage is as follows:
    • Qualifying: ESPN+
    • Days 1–6: ESPN, ESPN+, ESPN3 and DirecTV
    • Day 7: ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN+, ESPN3 and DirecTV
    • Days 8 and 9: ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN+ and ESPN3
    • Days 10–13 including the ladies’ and gentlemen’s singles finals: ESPN, ESPN+ and ESPN3
    • Same-day replays are aired on Tennis Channel throughout the tournament. Highlights of the first week are aired on the middle Sunday on ABC. Same-day replays of the ladies’ and gentlemen’s singles finals are aired on ABC.

U.S. Open

  • ESPN has the contract through 2025. Tennis Channel and DirecTV also provide coverage. Coverage is as follows:
    • Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day: ABC
    • Days 1–5: ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, and DirecTV
    • Days 6–8: ESPN2, ESPN3, and DirecTV
    • Days 9–10: ESPN, ESPN2, and ESPN3
    • Day 11: women’s singles semifinals: ESPN
    • Day 12: mixed doubles final: ESPN2, men’s singles semifinals: ESPN
    • Day 13: men’s doubles final: ESPN3, women’s singles final: ESPN
    • Day 14: women’s doubles final: ESPN3, men’s singles final: ESPN
    • A daily preview show, same-day highlights and a daily wrap-up show are aired on Tennis Channel throughout the tournament.[119]

ATP World Tour Finals

  • ESPN
  • Tennis Channel

ATP World Tour Masters 1000

  • ESPN (Indian Wells, Miami, Canada and Cincinnati) and Tennis Channel

ATP World Tour 500

  • Tennis Channel

ATP World Tour 250

WTA Finals

WTA Premier tournaments

  • ESPN (Indian Wells, Miami, Cincinnati and San Jose)[121]
  • Tennis Channel (Except San Jose)[122]

WTA International tournaments

  • Tennis Channel

Davis Cup

Fed Cup

  • Tennis Channel

US Open Series

  • ESPN2 and ESPN3

Laver Cup

  • ESPN3 and Tennis Channel

World TeamTennis

  • ESPN2 (final only) and ESPN3

Tie Break Tens

  • ESPN3

Track and Field (Athletics)[edit]

NBCUniversal holds rights to the following:[123][124][125]

Winter Sports[edit]

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Miscellaneous[edit]

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Sports broadcasting contracts in the United States

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