NFL, ESPN closing in on blockbuster TV deal

ESPN and the NFL are close to finalizing an agreement that would continue the run of “Monday Night Football” on the cable giant and more new media rights for a staggering figure of nearly $2 billion per year.

According to a report by John Ourand of Sports Business Daily, the sides have completed much of the major negotiations and the deal will be for nine or 10 years carrying to 2022 or 2023. ESPN will retain rights to televise the NFL draft and is negotiating for “TV everywhere” concepts which include broadcasting via broadband and mobile outlets.

The agreement could be finalized in the coming weeks and it comes as the owners continue to be locked in a stare down with players over the collective bargaining agreement. The NFL extended deals with Fox, NBC and CBS last year.

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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