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BC-FBN--Monday Night Football-TV Deal,1st Ld-Writethru, FBN

By The Associated Press
BC-FBN--Monday Night Football-TV Deal, 1st Ld-Writethru,0319'Monday Night Football' stays on ESPN through 2021Eds: Updates with details, quotes. Will be updated.BRISTOL, Conn. (AP) ' "Monday Night Football" will stay on ESPN through the 2021 season under an eight-year contract extension between the network and the NFL.

The previous deal went through the 2013 season. After 36 years on ABC, the package moved to ESPN in 2006.

The contract announced Thursday includes rights to simulcast the games on tablet devices and expanded international rights.



The agreement includes 17 Monday games a season through 2021 and coverage of the Pro Bowl and NFL draft, along with the option to carry a wild-card playoff game.

"We have come a long way together since ESPN first televised the NFL draft in 1980," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement. "With this new agreement we are excited about the opportunity to take the NFL-ESPN partnership to innovative new heights in serving the most passionate fans in sports."

An extra hour will be added to "Sunday NFL Countdown" and "NFL Live" will expand to an hour each day.

"We've secured cable's most valuable television franchise, along with an enhanced international package of year-round multimedia rights," ESPN/ABC Sports President George Bodenheimer said.


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