Oct 28, 2022 - Sports

ESPN+ gets first-ever exclusive NFL matchup on Sunday


Photo: Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images

ESPN+ will stream its first-ever exclusive NFL game this Sunday when the Broncos play the Jaguars in London (9:30am ET).

Why it matters: This is a milestone moment for the streaming platform, which continues to add more exclusive content as ESPN — which still relies heavily on monetizing linear TV — wades deeper into streaming.

What they're saying: "We're quite excited. This is a moment in history for ESPN," Russell Wolff, executive vice president of ESPN+, tells Axios. "We're believers in the linear ecosystem and we're committed to it — and we're also believers in direct-to-consumer."

  • Details: Steve Levy, Louis Riddick, Dan Orlovsky and Laura Rutledge will be on the call, with a special edition of "Sunday NFL Countdown" streaming live at 8:30am on ESPN+ and simulcast on ESPN.
  • Of note: The game will be available on local TV in Denver and Jacksonville markets.

By the numbers: ESPN+ had 22.8 million subscribers in August, per Disney's Q3 earnings call, a 53% increase from the previous year.

The backdrop: While this is ESPN+'s first exclusive NFL broadcast, the platform already has plenty of other NFL content. That includes Peyton Manning's show "Peyton's Places," which returns for Season 3 on Sunday.

The bottom line: NFL games are America's most-watched broadcasts, and this week two are exclusively on streaming platforms (Prime and ESPN+). The future is coming, and it's coming fast.

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