Fans could see a change to Sunday afternoon games that regularly air on CBS and Fox TV packages.
According to Variety, which cited two people familiar with the matter, NFL and its television partners are tossing around the idea of allowing networks to air games from both the NFC and AFC as opposed to how it currently stands with CBS holding rights to the AFC, while Fox holds rights to the NFC.
The change would allow rightsholders to air games from either conference, eliminating conference affiliations for the league’s Sunday afternoon packages.
Talks, however, are “extremely preliminary.”
“(CBS has) four years remaining on our NFL contract and we fully expect to keep the NFL on CBS for many years to come,” Sean McManus, chairman of CBS Sports, recently said. “While the NFL has been very good for CBS, CBS has indeed been very good for the NFL, generating huge audiences and interest in the game.”
Variety noted there have been other discussions between the league and networks about NFL rights, including speculation that Walt Disney could offer to put ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” on ABC for the first time since 2005.
The NFL’s deals with FOX, CBS and NBC expire after the 2022 season, while its deal with ESPN expires after 2021, Sports Media Watch noted.