ESPN's exclusive window for extending TV deal opens soon

As NFL owners prepare to convene on Tuesday in Chicago for a regularly-scheduled meeting, a source with knowledge of the agenda tells us that the owners will be discussing an upcoming negotiating window during which ESPN has the exclusive ability to renegotiate its Monday Night Football package.

The source was not aware of the length of the negotiating period.  Typically, the duration is 30 or 60 days.

If ESPN and the NFL fail to strike a new deal before the window closes, the Monday night package becomes fair game for any other interested bidder.  If a new deal is struck, it could be the first domino in a string of extensions with the other broadcast partners, including FOX, CBS, and NBC.

Some league observers believe that the next round of television-rights contracts also will include a full-season Thursday night package, which could generate far more revenue than the current partial-year slate of Thursday games televised on NFL Network.

ESPN acquired the Monday night rights as of 2006, at an annual rate in excess of $1 billion.  The current television deals run through the 2013 season, with the exception of the DirecTV package, which expires after 2014.

10 responses to “ESPN's exclusive window for extending TV deal opens soon

  1. “With the exception of the DirecTV package, which expires after 2014”.

  2. I thought Congress blocked the NFL from having a full-season of Thursday night football due to college and high school football. The only time the NFL can televise on Thursday nights is from Thanksgiving on. The exception to the rule is opening night.

  3. I hope another newtork outbids ESPN! Their coverage is horendous! Would be nice to see NBC get Sunday night and Monday night! ESPN can promote more WNBA and NBA games!

  4. Thursday night football is a joke. Teams are on a short week and traveling team suffers more.
    Games are sloppy as can be unless the two teams are coming off a bye which doesn’t always happen.

  5. I guarantee that there will be no ‘pay if there is a strike’ clause in the new contract. ESPN isn’t dumb.
    Second, I predict DirecTV will one day want out of their exclusive Sunday ticket package before the current deal ends. By offering games on Thursday, Monday, Sunday evening and the Red Zone Channel, the NFL has watered down the value of the Sunday Ticket package. If the evening and local games and real time scoring opportunities are available on cable, why pay $$$ for Sunday Ticket? Most cable outfits are advertising it that way and it is slowly chipping away at D*’s subscriber base. With fewer subscribers and a huge yearly cost, very soon D* will start losing money and want out.

  6. Hey Voyager, the NFL does’nt need DirecTV…it’s the opposite. The NFL is the one that is gaining the leverage by oppening these new revenue streams so that they don’t have to worry about one entity coughing up a ton of cash and having to charge the fans big money for it.
    The NFL deal wit DTV has always been a strategical move to gain leverage on Cable.

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