ESPN and NFL close to new TV deal

DollarsAccording to Sports Business Daily, ESPN and the NFL are close to signing a new media deal that would pay the NFL close to $2 billion per season. The deal would include “Monday Night Football,” but not a playoff game or Super Bowl as the NFL has resisted putting playoff games on cable television.

ESPN is currently paying the NFL around $1.1B, which is considerable more than what Fox ($720M), CBS ($620M) and NBC ($603M) pay. DirecTV pays about $1B a year for exclusive access to Sunday Ticket.

At $2 billion per season, that is about about an 80% increase in ESPN’s current rights fee, and would make it difficult for the league to plead poverty to the players union as they are doing in the current CBA talks.

You would think that the extra revenue from a new TV deal would make a new labor agreement easier to agree on, as both sides have to realize that the financial loses to both sides in the event of a strike would be massive.

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