NFL Deal Extends ESPN’s ‘MNF’ Reach To Mobile Phones

BRISTOL, CONN.—ESPN will begin early next year to expand its streaming of “Monday Night Football” as well as NFL highlights to authenticated viewers on all devices and platforms—including mobile phones—under the terms of a new deal with the National Football League, the sport networks announced today.

The new deal, which runs concurrently with the broadcaster’s existing NFL agreement, begins with the NFL Wild Card weekend on Jan. 6-7, 2018, and the Pro Bowl on Jan. 29 and runs through the conclusion of the 2021 NFL season, ESPN said in a press release.

Prior to the new agreement, ESPN held the rights to stream “Monday Night Football” to all digital devices except for mobile phones.

The “MNF” agreement follows similar deals with the league, including NBCU’s deal to stream “Sunday Night Football” to all mobile devices and Verizon’s agreement to stream in-market and national games on its premium digital and mobile media properties.

“Every day, tens of millions of fans turn to ESPN to stream events, view highlights and connect with the latest sports news and stories, so we’re thrilled that they will now be able to enjoy ‘Monday Night Football’and the latest NFL highlights as part of their experience on mobile phones as well,” said Burke Magnus, ESPN EVP, programming and scheduling, in the press release.

Phil Kurz is a contributing editor to TV Tech. He has written about TV and video technology for more than 30 years and served as editor of three leading industry magazines. He earned a Bachelor of Journalism and a Master’s Degree in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism.