ESPN To Pay $2 BILLION A Year For Monday Night Football

Monday night football on ESPN

Sports Business Daily‘s John Ourand reports that ESPN will increase its rights fees for NFL football, by around 40%, locking in Monday Night Football for the next decade at close to $2 billion per year.

The contract would extended ESPN’s control into 2023.

The deal includes the NFL Draft and footage for ESPN’s highlights shows, but does not include playoff games or put ESPN/ABC in the rotation to broadcast a Super Bowl. It’s basically just one game a week — but a very lucrative one.

NFL football has become the most popular show on prime-time television this year. MNF is not only ESPN’s highest-rated show, it’s the highest-rated series of any kind on cable. The season finale between New Orleans and Atlanta two weeks ago was the most-watched cable program of 2010.

According to Ourand, the deal has not been signed yet, but the key components of money and length have been agreed upon and minor details will be finalised soon.

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