After 35 years on free TV, Monday Night Football is moving to cable.
According to media reports,
ESPN will take over Monday Night Football from sibling broadcast network ABC after this season. Meanwhile,
NBC has picked up the rights to Sunday Night Football from ESPN. The move puts NBC back in National Football League broadcasting after a seven-year absence.
Disney is expected to pay between $900 million to $1.2 billion annually over multiple years for the Monday Night Football rights, according to sources. ABC currently pays $550 million a year for the rights.
The deal gives Disney's ESPN a dual revenue stream that broadcaster ABC did not enjoy. As a cable network it will see ad revenue coupled with costly distribution fees from cable and satellite carriers.
The NBC deal with the National Football League is expected to cost around $600 million annually, and it marks a return to NFL broadcasting for the network.