Could “Sunday Night Football” have a different television home in the future? ESPN surely wants to make that so.
According to Andrew Marchand of the New York Post, ESPN and Disney are prepared to shell out at least $1 billion to secure the rights to the NFL’s weekly Sunday night game. The network would likely place that game on ABC. The rights are currently held by NBC, which will compete to keep them.
Per The Post:
“A billion-dollar battle for “Sunday Night Football” is emerging between incumbent NBC and Disney/ABC/ESPN as the NFL moves toward agreements on its new TV deals that could be completed by the end of the year, The Post has learned.
It has been known for a long time that Disney/ABC/ESPN would be very aggressive for more NFL, the most valuable programming in television. As far back as early 2019, there was buzz about ABC wanting a Super Bowl.
However, according to sources, it is more than that as the pitch Disney is making to the NFL is that it currently pays the most so it deserves the best prime-time regular-season schedule.
On top of that, according to officials familiar with the negotiations, Disney/ABC/ESPN wants to acquire two separate NFL packages.”
ESPN spends $2 billion per year for an inferior Monday Night schedule and no Super Bowls, while NBC writes a check for a mere $950 million for Sunday Night, which also includes flexible scheduling.
ESPN’s current “Monday Night Football” deal concludes after next season, while NBC, CBS and FOX’s NFL TV contracts will be completed following the 2022-23 Super Bowl.