Monday, April 18, 2005
NFL Inks New Package; Major Changes
"Monday Night Football" moves to ESPN starting next season and will continue to be televised on over-the-air stations in home markets. The games will come with an earlier start time of 5:40pm (PT).
ESPN's Sunday Night package, part of that network's schedule since 1987, moves to NBC. Local stations KCRA-3 Sacramento, KNTV-11 San Jose/SF, KNVN-24 Chico/Redding, KSEE-24 Fresno and KGET-17 Bakersfield will get Sunday football at 5pm (PT). NBC will get scheduling flexibility in the latter part of the season to get meaningful games on the air in primetime. The package will cost NBC $600 million and give the Peacock Super Bowl telecasts in 2009 and 2012.
ABC and its local stations (KXTV-10 Sacto, KGO-7 SF, KFSN-30 Fresno, KRCR-7 Redding/Chico and KERO-23 Bakersfield) will be frozen out of the NFL for the first time since the legue debuted its Monday night package on ABC in 1970.
CBS and FOX will continue to carry Sunday afternoon games in a previous eight-year deal with the NFL.