NFL Still Mulling Radio Options
February 10, 2009 at 5:13 AM (PT)
The NFL allowed its exclusive negotiating window with WESTWOOD ONE to expire in DECEMBER, and now SPORTS BUSINESS JOURNAL reports that the league hasn't yet decided on a radio rights deal for the 2009-10 and 2010-11 seasons. The delay is significant because in past years, the upfront ad sales season for the games ran from OCTOBER through MARCH of the previous season, meaning that most of the traditional upfront season is already over.
WESTWOOD ONE, ESPN RADIO, SPORTING NEWS RADIO, and SPORTS USA RADIO are among the bidders, with the NFL looking for a deal of two years or longer and a possible revenue-sharing position. The magazine reports that WESTWOOD ONE is offering over $20 million and has offered to put about 20% of the rights fee in escrow; ESPN RADIO is said to be offering $12 to $14 million for a five-year deal; and SPORTING NEWS RADIO is offering an "alternative model" with revenue-sharing component.