The NFL and ESPN have agreed to an eight-year extension of the contract under which the cable network televises “Monday Night Football,” the two organizations announced Thursday.
The deal is worth about $1.9 billion annually, according to a source familiar with the terms. That’s up from about $1.1 billion per year under the current contract between the two.
The extension keeps Monday night games on ESPN at least through the 2021 season.
The value of the deal reinforces the NFL’s position as the nation’s most prosperous sport. The league currently generates more than $4 billion annually in national TV revenue.
Experts have said they believe the sport’s revenues will increase greatly in the coming years now that the league and the players’ union have ensured a decade of labor peace. They agreed to a 10-year collective bargaining agreement after a 4-1/2-month offseason lockout of the players by team owners.
The announcement of the ESPN extension came hours before the NFL season is scheduled to open Thursday night in Green Bay with the Packers hosting the New Orleans Saints.