The Tradition Continues: NFL To Remain On Broadcast TV


CBS, FOX Deals Extended through 2011

The National Football League has agreed to six-year extensions of its Sunday afternoon television packages with CBS and FOX that will keep NFL games on free, over-the-air television, Commissioner Paul Tagliabue announced Monday.

The new CBS and FOX agreements run through the 2011 season. The NFL's current television agreements expire following the 2005 season.

CBS will continue to televise the American Football Conference package of Sunday afternoon games that it acquired in 1998. CBS first began televising NFL games in 1956 and carried the NFC package from 1970 through 1993.

FOX will continue with the National Football Conference package of Sunday afternoon games that it acquired in 1994. There will be no change in the traditional Sunday afternoon kickoff times for either CBS or FOX.

The agreements include a commitment by CBS and FOX to phase in high-definition coverage of all NFL games and to introduce the addition of new interactive elements to NFL game telecasts.

CBS and FOX will televise two Super Bowls each during the term of the agreements. CBS will carry Super Bowl XLI in Miami on February 4, 2007, while FOX will air Super Bowl XLII in Glendale, Arizona in February of 2008 (date to be determined). The other Super Bowls for CBS and FOX will be assigned at a later date.

"These agreements represent the NFL's premium position as the number-one sports and entertainment attraction on television and in stadiums," Commissioner Tagliabue said. "Our goal in the negotiations has been to continue to deliver our games to the widest possible audience. The agreements underscore a unique commitment to broadcast television that no other sport has."

Commissioner Tagliabue said NFL fans should expect ongoing innovation from NFL telecasts on CBS and FOX.

"CBS and FOX have served NFL fans with the highest-quality television production," Commissioner Tagliabue said. "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."

The NFL will receive a combined $8 billion in rights fees for the Sunday afternoon AFC and NFC packages over the six-year term of the agreements.

The NFL is the only sports league that delivers all of its games - regular-season and playoffs - on free, over-the-air television. (ESPN's Sunday night cable games are required by contract to be carried in addition on over-the-air, broadcast stations in the participating team television markets, subject to local blackout rules).

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