NFL Mulls Leaving Westwood One
December 24, 2008 at 8:26 AM (PT)
For the first time in 22 years, the NFL is considering selling its national radio rights to a company other than WESTWOOD ONE, reports THE SPORTS BUSINESS JOURNAL. The league allowed an exclusive negotiating window with the financially troubled radio network to lapse this month and opened the process to other bidders for the 2009-10 and 2010-11 seasons.
The NFL expects to make its decision at the end of JANUARY.
WESTWOOD ONE has held the radio rights for 29 of the past 31 years, and even though its exclusive negotiating period ended, WESTWOOD ONE still is in the running to keep the rights, according to sources involved with the negotiating process.
During its exclusive negotiating period, WESTWOOD ONE had offered to pay about $20 million a year to extend its deal for two years, a figure that is relatively flat with its current deal, but up to 30% higher than what ESPN RADIO is expected to offer for the entire package.
NFL executives passed on the offer, sources said, because of the radio company’s tenuous financial position.