NFL, Disney Reach Agreement On New Media Rights Deal

Perhaps one of the final obstacles between the NFL and declaring the 2021 salary cap has fallen. According to Sports Business Journal, the league and Disney have finally come to an agreement on a mega, multi-year media deal somewhere in the ballpark of $2.6 billion per year.

Here are the details from SBJ.

“Disney will pay more than other media companies for its “MNF” package, and the network will retain the highly coveted highlight rights, which provide year-round programming for ESPN’s studio shows. An undetermined number of regular-season games will be simulcast on ABC, which will produce a Super Bowl for the first time since ‘06.

Disney was the last linchpin for the NFL, which already had reached broad agreements with CBS, Fox and NBC. Media execs are optimistic that the league formally will announce all of its media deals at some point next week.”

As the article notes, ABC is again included in the Super Bowl rotation between NBC, FOX, and CBS. The last Super Bowl to be broadcasted by ABC was Super Bowl XL when the Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Seattle Seahawks 21-10.

Reportedly, the NFL and Disney were far apart in negotiations as recently as a few days ago. Either those reports were inaccurate or the two sides quickly made up ground over the past 48 hours.

With media rights agreed upon, the NFL may feel comfortable in determining and announcing the 2021 salary cap. These new mega-contracts aren’t expected to significantly increase the cap, currently sitting at a floor of $180 million, but are part of the league equation in determining what the cap will be. The 2021 cap is expected to be in the low $180 million range. If it hits $185 million, consider it a mild upset.

SBJ notes the details of the other TV details largely remain the same. NBC will continue to host Sunday Night Football while CBS and FOX will host the afternoon games.

UPDATE (3:40 PM): The NFL has said no agreement is officially in place. SBJ reported the deal had not yet been agreed to in writing.

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