NFL Network and the NFL announced the merger of their two television channels on Tuesday, paving the way for a new television channel and new contracts for their teams.
With the merger, the NFL Network will be owned by NBCUniversal, the parent company of NBC, ESPN and TNT.
The NFL Network is scheduled to launch on September 18.
The deal also provides NBCUniversal with the exclusive rights to broadcast the NFL for at least two more seasons.
The network will also be able to broadcast all NFL games on the NFL GamePass, which has been widely embraced by fans and is expected to generate revenue for the network.
The deal includes an additional $1.2 billion in television revenue for NBCUniversal and $700 million for the NFL.
The merger is expected have a ripple effect across the sports and entertainment industries, as the league and the networks are already planning for the impact of the new deal.
The agreement comes at a time when viewership is declining in the United States.
According to Nielsen, last year viewership for the 2017 season fell 1.4%, from 29.9 million to 29.2 million.
In 2018, viewership will drop 2.5% to 29 million.
As the merger takes place, NBCUniversal is also adding more sports programming to its lineup.
The two networks are launching two new scripted series, “The Voice” and “The Apprentice.”NBC is also partnering with ESPN and Disney to create the “The Journey,” which will follow athletes in the NFL through the 2018 season.
The series will be produced by Michael Cohen, the creator of “The Bachelor.”
The deal is also expected to further improve the NFL’s relationship with viewers in China, where it will be the first English-language sports network in the country.
NBC has been an integral part of the league’s partnership with the Chinese government.
The networks has broadcast live events at the World Cup in 2018 and will be broadcast live in China from 2019.