ESPN, NFL in advanced talks on agreement that could give league stake in TV giant
ESPN and the NFL are in advanced talks that could result in the league taking an equity stake in ESPN, The Post has learned.
As part of a potential agreement, Disney-owned ESPN would take control of NFL Media, which includes NFL Network, and the league would receive equity in ESPN. For the long-term viability of ESPN aligning with the most powerful sports league would enhance its position as the network plans to move to direct to consumer by 2025.
While the idea of an ESPN-NFL alliance has been mentioned before, discussions between Disney-owned ESPN and the NFL are far enough along that sources said that owners and the Players Association are being informed about the talks.
The owners and players need to be involved in the equity agreement because of the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the two sides that calls for them to share revenues. It is unclear of how an equity stake in ESPN would be accounted for in the CBA.
It still could take months for a deal to be finalized. Both ESPN and the NFL declined comment.