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NFL Denies Report it Has Reached New Deal With ESPN/ABC

Disney and the NFL have reached an agreement on a new media rights deal that will allow ESPN to renew Monday Night Football and ABC to return to the Super Bowl rotation, the Sports Business Journal reports.

UPDATE: The NFL denies Sports Business Journal’s report, telling OutKick’s Bobby Burack, “the report is incorrect, and as we do not negotiate through the media, there will be no further comment.”

An undetermined number of regular-season NFL games will be simulcast on ABC, which will produce a Super Bowl for the first time since 2006.

Thursday Night Football will move from Fox to Amazon Prime and NFL Network, but the financial aspects of the transition aren’t known at this time.

Disney will, again, pay more than other media companies for its Monday Night Football package, and the network will retain the highlight rights, which provide programming for ESPN’s studio shows.

Although contracts still have not been signed, the Sports Business Journal reports both sides have ironed out much of the agreement and that a deal is close at hand.

Disney is expected to pay an increase of up to 30% from its current deal, which based on an average of $2 billion per year, would equate to around $2.6 billion, sources told the Sports Business Journal.

This agreement comes after news leaked last week the two parties were at a standstill, which left some individuals at ESPN wondering if the two parties’ views on the price could make a deal possible.

The increase that Disney will pay is far below the other networks’, the article states.

While Fox, CBS and NBC all are seeing the average annual value of their contracts double, ESPN is paying the highest rights fee in the current proposed deal.

The increase aligns Disney’s NFL package closer to its broadcast competitors.

The new deals will look a lot like the old deals, with CBS and Fox keeping their Sunday afternoon packages and NBC keeping Sunday Night Football.

Sources told the Sports Business Journal that CBS, Fox, and NBC will be paying around $2 billion per year for their packages, which is essentially doubling their current deals.

Written by Megan Turner

Megan graduated from the University of Central Florida and writes and tweets about anything related to sports. She replies to comments she shouldn't reply to online and thinks the CFP Rankings are absolutely rigged. Follow her on Twitter at @Megnturner_ and Instagram at @Megnturner.

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