Report: Disney, NFL reach broadcast rights agreement

ESPN will continue to broadcast "Monday Night Football" and ABC will join the Super Bowl rotation.

"Monday Night Football" will remain on ESPN with some games being simulcast on ABC. –AP Photo/Mark Tenally

The NFL and Disney have agreed to terms on a new media rights deal that will include ABC’s return to the Super Bowl rotation for the first time since 2006.

The deal, per a report by John Ourand at Sports Business Daily, will be formalized soon, but contracts have not yet been signed.

Under the new terms, ESPN will retain “Monday Night Football.”  Some regular-season games will also be simulcast on ABC, and ESPN will retain highlight rights deals, which allows the network to use game highlights on its various NFL programs.

ESPN’s current rights deal, an eight-year, $15.2 billion agreement reached in 2014, expires after next season.


Sports Business Daily did not report the length of the extension, but noted that Disney is expected to pay a 30-percent increase over the previous agreement.

Rights deals for the NFL’s other network broadcast partners – Fox, CBS, and NBC – are expected to be announced next week.

All three networks agreed to deals in ’14 that run through 2022. Fox currently pays $9.9 billion for primarily NFC games, CBS pays $9 billion for primarily the AFC; and NBC pays $8.55 billion for the Sunday Night Football package, with all three networks carrying playoff games and rotating Super Bowl rights.

CBS had Super Bowl LV between the Chiefs and Bucs. Super Bowl LVI in ’22 will air on NBC, while Fox has Super Bowl LVII in ’23. ABC has not been the home for a Super Bowl since the Steelers beat the Seahawks in Super Bowl XL on February 5, 2006.

The average annual value of the three networks’ new rights contracts are expected to double.

In the upcoming deal, “Thursday Night Football’’ will move from Fox to the NFL Network.

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