News: Sunday Ticket, Iger, bowls and more

NFL Sunday Ticket media rights negotiations could stretch into next year, according to a report in the New York Times. Plus: Bob Iger’s return, a potential bowl game swap and more.

NFL Sunday Ticket negotiations could stretch into next year, per NYT

NFL Sunday Ticket rights negotiations are expected to extend into next year, the New York Times reported Wednesday, with Google said to have “stepped up its pursuit” of the rights. Apple has long been considered the frontrunner to acquire the package of out-of-market games, but per recent reporting by CNBC and The Athletic, has reached a stalemate with the NFL over the extent of rights it is seeking.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said earlier this year that he expected a Sunday Ticket deal by the fall, a deadline that would seem to have come and gone. (NEWS 11.22)

Impact of Bob Iger’s return on ESPN not yet clear

As has been widely discussed this week, Disney fired CEO Bob Chapek over the weekend and replaced him with his predecessor, former CEO Bob Iger. Iger, who served as Disney CEO for 15 years starting in 2005, is set to fill the CEO role for the next two years as Disney restarts the succession process.

Iger was considered a strong ally of ESPN and its president Jimmy Pitaro during his prior tenure. Nevertheless, per the New York Times, some analysts are suggesting that he could be open to a potential spinoff of the network, citing public comments he has made about the challenges facing linear cable. ESPN — by far the cable network most susceptible to the decline of the linear bundle due to its massive, industry-leading subscriber fees — has long been the subject of spinoff speculation. (NEWS 11.20)

Las Vegas and New Mexico bowl games likely to swap slots

The December 17 Las Vegas and New Mexico bowl games will swap timeslots and networks in the likely event that the 3-7 Las Vegas Raiders are flexed out of Sunday Night Football the following day, it was announced Wednesday. As the Las Vegas Bowl and Raiders game are set for the same stadium, enough time needs to be left after the former to prepare the field for the latter.

If the Raiders game is moved to an earlier afternoon slot, the Las Vegas Bowl will move from 7:30 PM ET on ABC to 2:30 PM on ESPN, the timeslot currently held by the New Mexico Bowl. The New Mexico Bowl would then move into the ABC primetime slot, marking its first ever appearance on over-the-air television. (ESPN PR)

Plus: Lobo, Subban, hot dog contest

ESPN has reached a contract extension with women’s pro and college basketball analyst Rebecca Lobo, who will continue in her current roles, it was announced this week. … Molds NHL defenseman PK Subban officially joined ESPN as an NHL analyst earlier this month, having previously served as a guest analyst. … ESPN will continue to air the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest through the end of this decade under a contract extension announced this week. (ESPN PR)

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