Will Netflix’s Christmas NFL games have ads during them?

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Netflix has announced it will carry two live NFL games on Christmas Day 2024 — and that it’s selling advertising starting at around $5 million a package.

It’s not clear how many ad breaks there will be during the two games, which feature the Kansas City Chiefs vs. the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Houston Texans hosting the Baltimore Ravens.

The streamer did reveal one key piece of information, however: Everyone will have to watch ads, whether or not they have an ad-supported or ad-free plan.

Most programming on Netflix, as well as other streamers with ad-free plans, remains ad-free. However, most streamers note that advertising may still appear during select programs, including live sporting events.

It’s also worth noting that all streaming services that offer live TV options will still feature advertising on channels being watched in realtime that take commercial breaks in most cases (some streamers have experimented with letting subscribers access bonus live content during times when other viewers might be seeing ads).

Ads may sometimes be removed — or can be fast-forwarded through — on recordings of such content.

It’s not clear if Netflix will allow users to watch an “on demand” version of the Christmas Day games later — with or without ads.

Meanwhile, it’s also likely that Netflix will sell in-game advertising and sponsorships. This could range from sponsors getting naming rights to pregame, halftime and post-game coverage to on-screen logos at key points during gameplay. It’s also possible the streamer might offer “product placement”-style deals to sponsors. 

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This also doesn’t include any sponsorships sold separately via partnerships with teams and the NFL or the local venue that could pop up on screen during the game itself. 

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