Following our discussion yesterday with Monday Night Football play-by-play announcer Mike Tirico comes word that ESPN and the National Football League have come to an agreement to extend the network’s coverage of Monday Night Football eight years, through the 2021 season. Reports say ESPN will pay the NFL upwards of $15 billion for the rights.
The extension begins with the 2014 season, and includes multi-paltform coverage of the NFL,with highlight rights for TV and ESPN.com, the Pro Bowl, the NFL Draft, 3D rights, and enhanced international rights. There are no provisions for the network to carry playoff games or the Super Bowl in the extended deal.
“Today, we’ve secured cable’s most valuable television franchise, along with an enhanced international package of year-round multimedia rights.” said ESPN and ABC Sports President George Bodenheimer in a press release, “It will help grow our business well into the next decade. No one has the breadth of worldwide media assets or the ability to monetize a property the way ESPN can, particularly with Monday Night Football and our complete NFL coverage.”
“We are proud to extend our three-decade partnership with ESPN,” said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. “We have come a long way together since ESPN first televised the NFL Draft in 1980. With this new agreement we are excited about the opportunity to take the NFL-ESPN partnership to innovative new heights in serving the most passionate fans in sports.”
ESPN has been televising NFL games since 1987 and Monday Night Football since 2006.