Monday Night Football may move to ESPN
Switch could give NBC Sunday night football deal
NBCSports.com news services
Updated: 2:26 a.m. ET July 23, 2004
The NFL may be moving Monday Night Football to ESPN, resulting in NBC airing Sunday night broadcasts, USA Today reported.
Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen, chairman of the league's TV committee reportedly told the paper that because of the heavy losses ABC has taken from MNF's sagging ratings, it could be shifted to the network's cable partner.
ABC has carried MNF since its inception in 1970. Its eight-year deal, reportedly worth an average of $550 million a year, expires after the 2005 season. ESPN, on the other hand, reportedly makes money on its $600 million deal for Sunday night games because of subscriber fees and ad sales.
"ESPN to Monday Night Football obviously is out there," Bowlen told the paper, who added negotiations likely would begin in October. "ESPN to Monday nights and ABC to Sunday nights is an intriguing idea. But Sunday night may be an intriguing idea to networks other than ABC ... one being NBC."
George Bodenheimer, president of ESPN and ABC Sports, declined to comment. NBC Sports and Olympics chairman Dick Ebersol was in Athens on Thursday preparing for the Olympics and was unavailable.
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