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Free NFL Football Gets 60% More Expensive

Updated with particulars of the deal and information from a source close to the NFL Players Association

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- The National Football League and CBS (CBS - Get Report), Comcast's (CMCSA - Get Report) NBC and News Corporation's (NWS - Get Report) Fox agreed on television contract extensions through 2022 on Wednesday that could hike the NFL's total revenue from the networks by 60%, a source close to DeMaurice Smith, executive director of the National Football League Players Association, said.

Current total revenue from television broadcasts is at about $1.93 billion a year, which means that by 2022, revenue could jump to $3.09 billion. NFL players will receive 55% of the television revenue as part of labor agreements reached in August.

"They're the Players Association actually pretty happy because during their contract negotiations earlier this year, they made a calculated bet -- they basically gave them the owners concessions on local club revenues ... and in return they got a fixed 55% draw on the league media," the source said.

Local club revenues refers to the money franchises earn from food concessions, luxury boxes, selling rights to local media and team apparel.

"These agreements underscore the NFL's unique commitment to broadcast television that no other sport has," Roger Goodell, NFL Commissioner said in a statement Wednesday.

NBCUniversal said it agreed on Wednesday to extend its deal with the National Football League to broadcast through 2022 its professional football games on Sunday night and added a primetime Thanksgiving game to begin in 2012.

The new agreements upgraded the number of regular season games NBC will broadcast to 19, up from 17 since 2006; under the contract it will also air each NFL season's kickoff game and two playoff games, according to the network.

"There is no more powerful programming on television than the NFL and no better program than Sunday Night Football on NBC ," Steve Burke, NBCUniversal CEO, said in a statement on NBCSports.com.

NBC will televise the 2012 Super Bowl on Feb. 5, but it also has the rights to the Super Bowl in 2015, 2018 and 2021.

"Sunday Night Football on NBC is the most-watched program on primetime television," Mark Lazarus, chairman of NBC Sports Group, said. "The additional digital and programming rights add tremendous value to the NBC Sports Group portfolio."

-- Written by Joe Deaux in New York.

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