Formal announcement on ESPN-NFL deal likely today

Are you ready for some football?

ESPN sure is. The cable giant is expected to have a formal announcement with the NFL today that it has extended rihts to carry “Monday Night Football” through the 2021 season, according to Sports Business Daily.

The eight-year extension is worth $1.8 billion annually and represents a 63 percent increase over the current contract. While no playoff games are guaranteed, the new pact allows for two key things for ESPN. First, it will be able to stream live games over broadband and to tablets.

Second, ESPN acquired much more in the way of highlight rights which will allow it to vastly expand programming with the creation of new shows. And the football monster continues to grow.

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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