'Monday Night Football' may go to ESPN

NEW YORK, July 23 (UPI) -- "Monday Night Football," an ABC fixture since 1970, reportedly may head to cable's ESPN and Sunday night NFL games may air on NBC.

The NFL is talking with various network officials regarding game broadcasts after its current TV contracts expire in 2005, USA Today said Friday.


ABC has incurred heavy losses during its past eight-year run, which is worth approximately $550 million a year.

ESPN, which benefits from subscribers fees and ad sales, is making money on its $600 million annual deal for Sunday night NFL games.

"ESPN to 'Monday Night Football' obviously is out there. ESPN to Monday nights and ABC to Sunday nights is an intriguing idea. But Sunday night may be an intriguing idea to networks other than ABC ... one being NBC," said Pat Bowlen, chairman of the NFL's TV committee and Denver Broncos owner.

Bowlen said TV negotiations would likely begin in October.

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