Posted March 03, 2018 09:16:01 If you thought the NFL had been left behind by the rise of streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime, think again.
The league is set to return to ESPN in 2018 and the first game will air on the network’s new, larger and more powerful “premium” tier.
ESPN has said the network will have up to 1,000 channels of live content, and ESPN is set up to have “millions” of subscribers.
But ESPN’s streaming service will likely not be a part of the NFL’s lineup in 2018.
According to multiple sources, ESPN is also looking to acquire the rights to Fox Sports’ “Monday Night Football” on the NFL network.
NFL officials have said the company will not be renewing its contract with Fox Sports.
But according to sources close to ESPN, the company is interested in the rights for the first time in the past decade.
ESPN’s recent deals with Fox and Fox Sports have helped the league grow its subscriber base and make more money.
But the NFL is in a tough spot with Fox having been able to make more in advertising revenue on its networks than it ever did on its own.
“It’s a tough one,” a source close to the negotiations told ESPN.
“If they don’t do something, the league will be very, very, unhappy.”
ESPN also is expected to renew its contract to air NFL games on the Disney Channel and the NFL on ESPN 2.
ESPN said it was in talks with Disney over its upcoming deal to air the Super Bowl and the upcoming NFL Network.
“ESPN is committed to our ESPN2 package, which includes a slate of Super Bowls and a regular season on ESPN,” ESPN senior vice president of programming John Skipper said in a statement.
“We will continue to explore opportunities for our NFL and NFL Network packages.
As we move forward, we’ll continue to look at ways to maximize the value of those packages.”
ESPN, which is owned by Disney, is currently in talks to buy the rights in the United Kingdom for an estimated $7 billion.
The NFL is reportedly not interested in an ESPN deal.
The NFL has said it has no plans to abandon its NFL Network subscription in 2018, despite ESPN’s ongoing negotiations with Fox.
The league has said that its streaming service could be a big part of its future and that the NFL will be watching its streaming plans closely.
ESPN said the new premium tier will include up to 10 channels, which will include all of the networks top programming, plus ESPN2.
The company said it plans to have up “millional” subscribers in the new tiers, though the exact number has not been revealed.