The Real Football Wars Are For The Rights To Air NFL’s Lucrative Packages

The stakes are at an all-time high as the rights to cover Sunday Night Football are on the table. And the big hitter from NBC, where SNF is in its 15th year, is getting a run from Disney which runs ABC and ESPN.

To maintain control over Sunday night games, the “Peacock” is going to have to dig deep into its coffers as Disney has the firepower to negotiate a billion-dollar deal. The incumbent NBC is trying to stave off attempts by “Disney” as the NFL moves towards solidifying its next TV deals which could be completed by year’s end.

It’s no secret that Disney which houses the Entertainment Sports Network and ABC would be Uber aggressive in getting a larger slice of that lucrative NFL broadcast pie, which is the most valuable programming in all of television.

It’s believed that ABC wanted to have a Super Bowl as early as 2018-19. Disney, however, isn’t trying to relinquish the golden goose. The company maintains that it already pays the most to the NFL for its programming, so in turn, it believes it deserves the best prime-time regular-season schedule.

Also according to reports Disney/ABC/ESPN wants to acquire separate NFL packages. Currently, ESPN spends $2B per year for an inferior MNF schedule and no Super Bowls. While NBC submits a check for $950M, but they also have the right to flexible scheduling on SNF.

Rumors have surfaced that if SNF is moved from NBC it would end up ABC, rather than ESPN. If this happens then NBC would still have a shot at securing MNF and TNF, and both Disney and NBC would have shots at securing the Fox and CBS Sunday afternoon packages.

ESPN’s current Monday Night Football deal expires after next season, while NBC, Fox and CBS’ TV contracts expire at the conclusion of the 2022-23 Super Bowl.


Back to top