Report: NFL Asking Networks to Pay Double to Broadcast Games in Contract Talks

Jenna CiccotelliAnalyst IFebruary 21, 2021

Detail view of NFL shield logo on a goal post pad before an NFL wild-card playoff football game between the Tennessee Titans and the Baltimore Ravens, Sunday, Jan. 10, 2021, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Brett Carlsen)
Brett Carlsen/Associated Press

The NFL is looking to double the price tag for its broadcast rights, according to CNBC's Alex Sherman

Sherman wrote that the league "is in active discussions" with NBC, CBS, Fox and ESPN (which is owned by Disney) regarding a 100 percent increase and hoping to wrap those negotiations up by the start of the new league year on March 17. 

Disney, whose broadcast rights to Monday Night Football run through 2021, is opposed to "paying anywhere close" to $3.8 billion per year for a new deal, which would be twice the $1.9 billion it has paid since agreeing to a deal in 2011.

In addition to the Monday Night Football game broadcasts, the company's contract also entitles it to highlights for use on ESPN in addition to branding and streaming rights. Disney is reportedly asking to split Monday night doubleheaders between ESPN and ABC, which it also owns, and wants to be factored into the Super Bowl broadcast rotation in its next deal.

"We've had a long relationship with the NFL," Disney CEO Bob Chapek said in early February, per Sherman. "If there's a deal that will be accretive to shareholder value, we will certainly entertain that and look at that. But our first filter will be to say whether it makes sense for shareholder value going forward."

Fox pays $1.1 billion annually, while CBS is on the books for $1 billion and NBC pays $960 million for Sunday Night Football, per Sherman.

DirecTV, which is owned by AT&T, also pays the league $1.5 billion per year for its Sunday Ticket broadcast package, CNBC's Jabari Young reported earlier this month.