REPORT: ESPN Pushing Back Against NFL Demanding 100% Increase In TV Rights Payments

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The National Football League wants to wrap up its negotiations for its television rights renewals, but they have one partner that wants to do battle and refusing to pay what the league wants.

The league wants to charge its current network partners double what they’ve been paying to broadcast games, however, Disney is pushing back on it, according to Alex Sherman of CNBC.

Disney currently pays more than the three broadcast networks for its Monday Night Football package after agreeing to shell out annually for Monday Night Football in 2011 — a deal that runs through 2021.

“NBC, CBS and Fox are likely to accept increases closer to 100% than Disney…

Disney has already rejected paying anywhere close to $3.8 billion per year for its new deal, said two of the people. Disney CEO Bob Chapek alluded to pushing back on the NFL’s asking price during his company’s earnings conference call last week.

“We’re looking at the long-term trends of sports viewership,” Chapek said on Feb. 11. “We’ve had a long relationship with the NFL. If there’s a deal that will be accretive to shareholder value, we will certainly entertain that and look at that. But our first filter will be to say whether it makes sense for shareholder value going forward.”

The league is pointing out that Disney should pay the same increase as its other partners because they are asking for more from the NFL this time around — including double-header Monday Night games, where one game airs on ABC, the Disney-owned broadcast network. Disney also wants ABC to become part of the Super Bowl rotation with NBC, CBS and Fox.

The NFL also wants to add an 18th week of regular-season play, which means an extra game for Disney and every other partner.

The NFL is hoping to get its primary package renewals completed by March 17, before the start of the new NFL league year.