According to sources informing Sports Business Journal, Disney and the National Football League have reached an agreement that sees ESPN renew “Monday Night Football” and ABC to be back in to the broadcast network rotation for the Super Bowl for the first time since 2006.
Disney is rumored to pay the NFL an increase of “up to 30 percent” from its current deal, which would estimate to $2.6 billion per year. The amount is expected to be larger than what each of the other media companies (e.g. CBS, NBC, Fox) are aiming to pay, due to the retaining of NFL highlight rights that provide year-round programming for ESPN. It is currently unknown how many regular-season NFL games ABC will acquire.
This news comes on the heels of a reported stalemate between the two sides.
In response to the presumed Disney/NFL deal, NFL Media Vice President of Communications Alex Riethmiller told SBJ, “The report is incorrect and as we don’t negotiate through the media, there will be no further comment.” ESPN declined to comment.
The NFL is planning to formally announce all of its media deals at some point during the week of March 1st. At this time, there is still great uncertainty for the league’s “Thursday Night Football” package. Sports Business Journall indicates it will move from Fox to Amazon Prime and NFL Network.