MNF Week 1 Assignment

2013-11-04 22.32.08

For my Media Properties & Revenue Generation assignment I chose ABC’s weekly T.V. broadcast, Monday Night Football. 2013 happens to be the 44th anniversary of MNF’s first ever game. September 21st, 1970 was a night that forever changed the history of sports broadcasting. The Cleveland Browns defeated the New York Jets 31-21and America was introduced to future Hall of Fame Broadcaster, Howard Cosell. In 2006, after thirty-six years on ABC, the broadcast moved to ESPN which is part of the Walt Disney family. After five seasons, ESPN signed a new deal with the NFL paying out 15.2 billion dollars over eight years, giving the rights to ESPN through 2021. ESPN already owned the highest per month price on cable bills at $4.69 and this new Monday Night Football contract worried many that ESPN would add an “NFL Premium” to their staggering cable bill pricing. Advertising revenue for MNF is around 200 million annually which is about 600 million less than NBC and FOX get for their Sunday broadcasts. They use the high carriage fee of nearly five dollars per cable bill to make up for that major difference in advertising sales and revenue. ESPN decided to stand pat with their current cable pricing with 98 percent of cable providers in America offering ESPN to it’s customers they didn’t want to ruffle feathers, but as a reference the second highest price on monthly cable bills was TNT at $1.16. A thirty second advertisement on Monday Night Football currently ranges from $325,000 to $400,000 which generates most of the 200 million in annual advertising revenue. Anheuser-Busch, Pepsi, and Gatorade are three of the biggest spot advertisers for the NFL with over 1.3 billion dollars in commitments to the league. A study showed that if ESPN didn’t carry MNF they would lose 54% of their viewership on Monday night, which might be the reason why the pay twice as much as others to broadcast the NFL. ESPN pays nearly 2 billion dollars annually compared to $720 million for FOX, $620 million for CBS, and $603 million for NBC, yet another reason why they charge so much on each cable bill. At the end of the day ESPN might pay the NFL a kings ransom to broadcast games, but with the revenue from advertisements, sponsors, and cable companies is definitely paying serious dividends.




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