ESPN, NFL close in on Monday Night Football extension

In 2006, Monday Night Football shifted from ABC to sister-company ESPN, which is paying $1.1 billion per year for the right to televise 17 regular-season games, but no Super Bowls or playoff games.

According to John Ourand of SportsBusiness Journal, the NFL and ESPN are closing in on an extension.  Ourand reports that ESPN will increase its annual fee by 40 percent.

As Ourand points out, the current ESPN deal is worth $8.8 billion over eight years, making it a contract worth $1.1 billion annually.  A 40-percent increase translates to a total value of $1.54 billion.  But Ourand writes that the new contract will be worth between $1.8 billion and $1.9 billion per year, and the attention-grabbing headline says the agreement will be worth “nearly $2 billion.”

It looks like it’s actually worth “roughly $1.5 billion.”

Per Ourand, the contract won’t put cable television (or ABC) in the Super Bowl rotation, but it could carve off a wild-card game for ESPN at some point in the future.  The league, as Ourand observes, has resisted putting playoff games on non-broadcast television.

ESPN also would retain rights to televise highlights and the annual draft.  Ourand points out that the league had been considering making the early rounds exclusive to NFL Network, a move that in our view would have triggered fan outrage given the still-limited availability of NFL Network.

Broadband and mobile rights also are part of the discussions, which likely accounts for a chunk of the sharp increase.  Verizon currently has the exclusive right to stream games over mobile devices.

UPDATE:  Ourand has amended his numbers.  The gross dollar figure of $1.8 billion to $1.9 billion per year was accurate.  The correct percentage increase is 65 to 70 percent.

43 responses to “ESPN, NFL close in on Monday Night Football extension

  1. That’s a lot of money. . . It makes you wonder how much ESPN is making from Monday Night Football if they are spending 8.8 Billion.

  2. Well that sucks another yr of not being able to watch Monday night football because its on cable

  3. I can’t wait till playoff games go to ESPN – then I won’t have to worry about watching them. And yes, Gruden needs to go. He is horrible, adds nothing to any broadcast he is on and has pulled Jaws down to his level.

  4. All of this money that’s being thrown at the NFL, but owners and players can’t find common ground. Pretty pathetic.

  5. Dumb. I don’t have cable and that is a choice I made, and many people are making that choice now with streaming TV programs and movies over the internet, cable is going to go the way of the dodo in 25 years. If the NFL wants to complete, they need to have a service much like MLB.tv, but that won’t happen because they are too busy bickering about who gets more millions with the players.

  6. Does not say but implied is that this includes 2 additional games when the NFL agrees to increase the schedule. So its more money but two more games on the schedule also.

  7. Hope the league makes BOTH of the “prime time partners” (NBC, ESPN) give up their exclusive prime time rights in the event a game has to be moved.

    Moving the Eagles v Vikes game to Tuesday, instead of Monday, was crazy!

  8. “Don’t care what channel it’s on, as long as Gruden stops calling games.”

    Right on the money there. I’d get rid of Tirico as well.

  9. I can say Ive watched 10 min of Monday night FB beginning three yrs ago. I just cant stand to listen to the three stooges, Larry, Curly and Moe. Some might call them uncle Donalds nephews, Huey, Dewy and Louie. I dont know who is worse, that idiot Gruden, who prides himself in mimmicing (sp) Chuckie, or Trick-0 who prides himself in not knowing football and loves to officate games from the booth and is surprised when the on field offical over turns his (Tirico’s) rulings. What the hell is ESPN thinking ? Their ratings do not come from the booth. And “Jaws” ?

  10. Can’t believe everyone is hating on the announcers right now. This has been my favorite MNF crew ever. Gruden is awesome. Would you clowns rather they bring back dennis miller or kornheiser? Give me a break. Here’s to hoping Gruden does NOT get a coaching j0b and the same crew is back next year.

  11. I don’t get it, if there is no football next year, where does all this money go? Its like the entire league’s foundation is based on these tv deals, but if there is no football how do the deals play out. Feels like the stock market with the bad mortgages fiasco.
    The NFL’s money train could come crashing down?

  12. All the complaints about Gruden… Have you watched a game with Matt Millen doing color? At least with Gruden, you can laugh at him like a clown. Millen makes me want to smash my TV.

  13. For all of you who don’t like the Gruden, Tirico, Jaworski broadcast team – you are all insane. This is the BEST lineup they have had ….since forever. You can’t please anyone these days. Truly amazing.

  14. John Gruden definitely calls better games than stupid chris collinsworth lmao.. he is so boring and looks like a penis.. ill listen to jim nantz and phil simms all day before him. Al michaels is the greatest of all time though, hands down

  15. Gruden adds nothing to the broadcast. Jaws thinks he is a God when it comes to everything he says. Tirico is solid. A team of Gus Johnson, Al Michaels, and Mike Tirico would be money.

  16. Might be the best lineup they’ve had, but that still isn’t saying too much…Michaels and CC on SNF are 1000 times better.

  17. ESPN and the NFL have agreed to broad terms on a new media rights deal that will be worth nearly $2 billion per year. Specific numbers still are difficult to confirm, but multiple sources say ESPN has told the NFL that it will increase its annual rights fee by 65% to 70%%, which means it will pay the league a record fee, between $1.8 billion and $1.9 billion a year.

    ATTENTION GRABBING HEADLINE…

    or actually fact, and you dropped the ball on this one Mike.

  18. so ESPN is volunteering to pay %40 more in the absence of any stated competition????
    @coachstram:
    are you serious? Tirico is the MAN, regarded as one of the best on the tube? maybe you have his voice confused with Gruden’s.

  19. The greatest duo was A.M and J.M. I loved em on mnf I like trico and gruden…… Jaws sucks. Hate hearing his voice

  20. @steelerdynasty….

    VERY serious. Who, besides yourself regards him as “one of the best”? Youre joking, right?

    Gruden needs to stay.

    You can take Gus Johnson, Jim Nantz, Joe Buck and Tirico, put ’em in a booth, and they MIGHT be qualified for a JV game at your local high school.

    Tirico? Really?

    Pass me some of whatever is altering your reality.

  21. fishbone80 says:
    For all of you who don’t like the Gruden, Tirico, Jaworski broadcast team – you are all insane. This is the BEST lineup they have had ….since forever. You can’t please anyone these days. Truly amazing.
    ————————————————-

    Really, the best EVER?????

    Maybe you’ve never watched a MNF game with a couple of hacks named Al Michaels and John Madden?

    Moron.

    Ron Jaworski is hands-down the worst ex-jock ever to talk into a microphone. He would make Tim McCarver sound good.

  22. They should just clean house and go with the same seven-person booth of Curt Gowdy, Jim Palmer, Tim McCarver, Dick Vitale, Mel Allen, Dick Enberg, and Dr. Joyce Brothers a la “The Naked Gun.” My head is practically spinning just thinking about what hard-hitting analysis might come out of mouths of this septagon of verbal styling juggernaut. Ratings would be killer.

  23. Judging by the comments it seems no one has a mute button on their remote. If you do then just try pressing it you would be surprised how effective it is. If you need someone to tell you whats going on then watch soccer. I watch and understand most tv football games in blissfull quiet.

  24. Sunday Night Football has replaced them, MNF is only relevant when my team is on otherwise I never watch.

  25. MNF moving to ESPN has to be one of the worst moves in all of football. At least they quit bringing “celebrities” into the booth to interview during the games. HORRIBLE idea, but not 1/2 as bad as Tony Kornheiser was.

    As for game presentation, analysis, and commentary, SNF is the new gold standard.

  26. Jack Burton says:
    Jan 6, 2011 12:04 PM
    Sunday Night Football has replaced them, MNF is only relevant when my team is on otherwise I never watch.
    ———————————————————-

    My guess is your watching Dancing with the Stars instead.

  27. Sounds like the same sort of creative math skills that politicians use to argue their shovel material.

  28. Al Michaels/John Madden duo awesome…but it’s over, so move on. Collingsworth/Al a great team and are not shoving each other off the mike and fighting for “who’s got the best comment” time like on MNF. Collingsworth looks like a penis…? really, Seth, really? Are penises your visual image of choice? Just sayin’……

  29. well obviously the people who pay him lots of money to do not only football (both pro and college), but also the NBA, golf, and the world cup. i’m guessing its because he’s pretty good at what he does. you’re entitled to your opinion on the man, but i’d like to emphatically disagree.
    what is it that you do not like about him?

  30. @coachstram:
    well obviously the people who pay him lots of money to do not only football (both pro and college), but also the NBA, golf, and the world cup. i’m guessing its because he’s pretty good at what he does. you’re entitled to your opinion on the man, but i’d like to emphatically disagree.
    what is it that you do not like about him?

  31. Lame!! ESPN is a pathetic network, and their NFL coverage is garbage. It would have been nice to see it moved to another network.

  32. iwishiwasindc says:
    Jan 6, 2011 12:54 PM
    Al Michaels/John Madden duo awesome…but it’s over, so move on.
    ————————————————

    The idiot, er, poster, had stated that the current MNF line-up was the best, “ever”.

    I corrected him.

    Follow the bouncing ball and stay with the conversation, or sit down and be quiet, please.

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