CBS, Fox Extend NFL Deals

Nov 8, 2004  •  Post A Comment

CBS and Fox agreed Monday to six-year extensions of their agreements with the National Football League. The NFL said the two six-year agreements would bring the NFL $8 billion. Viacom co-President Leslie Moonves, on a conference call, said that Fox’s NFC package cost more than CBS’s AFC package. The current deals were set to expire after next season.

The NFL also extended its deal with DirecTV, which will retain and expand its exclusive rights to the NFL Sunday Ticket package through the 2010 season. That deal was valued at $3.5 billion by the NFL. DirecTV also extended its carriage agreement with NFL Network.

Under their new deals, CBS and Fox will televise two Super Bowls each. CBS will carry Super Bowl XLI in Miami on Feb. 4, 2007, while Fox will air Super Bowl XLII in Glendale, Ariz., in February 2008. The other Super Bowls for CBS and Fox will be assigned at a later date.

Mr. Moonves said CBS began negotiations a few months ago and that they were completed much more quickly than anticipated. He said CBS has turned a profit on its current deal and expects to make more in its new deal.

It was unclear what would happen with the NFL’s prime-time package, which is now with ABC and ESPN.

“CBS and Fox have served NFL fans with the highest-quality television production,” NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue said in a statement. “Both networks will continue their outstanding coverage of the NFL, which has grown to 32 teams and undergone realignment with a new, balanced scheduling formula since our last television negotiations in 1998. The commitment to high-definition production plus new enhanced and interactive elements will take our Sunday afternoon telecasts to the next level.”

Mr. Moonves said he expects the “full cooperation” of affiliates in helping CBS pay for the new NFL deal. “Affiliates have been very helpful,” he said. “We expect that will continue.”