Jan 7, 2011

Sports Business Daily’s John Ourand is reporting that the NFL and ESPN have agreed in principle on a new media rights deal that will pay nearly $2 billion a year to the NFL.

[format] Both sides had originally discussed an extension in September of last year, during an exclusive negotiation window.  The window closed, but the talks were positive enough that discussion continued into this month, leading to the general terms of the extension. [/format]

[format] ESPN was in the midst of an 8 year $8.8 billion dollar rights deal, meaning that the NFL is now charging roughly 70% more for its annual media rights. [/format]

[format] A 70% increase.  That extra revenue should surely help the NFL and the NFLPA in their seemingly never-ending battle over money, no? [/format]

More on the deal,

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Despite agreeing to pay the league nearly $2 billion per year to extend its rights to NFL content, including “Monday Night Football,” neither ESPN nor ABC will be in the rotation to carry the Super Bowl, according to several sources. In fact, it appears that ESPN still will not have the rights to televise any NFL playoff games, at least not initially. The league has long been unwilling to move playoff games off of broadcast television. But during the negotiations, ESPN has been pushing hard to pick up at least one wild card game, and the NFL has showed signs that it is willing to consider moving a playoff game to cable eventually.

The two sides have agreed that ESPN will hold onto key rights, including highlights and the Draft, which has grown in stature since ESPN first started covering it in 1980. The NFL had toyed with the idea of making the first few rounds of the NFL Draft exclusive to NFL Network, but ESPN will continue to carry it through the new deal. (via Sports Business Daily)

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[format] Ourand reports that the deal is for either nine or ten years, which would keep MNF on ESPN until at least 2022. [/format]

This new ESPN deal would increase NFL media rights revenue to nearly $5 billion dollars a year, with DirecTV, CBS, NBC, and FOX accounting for approximately $3 billion a year.

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