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#pounditWednesday, August 12, 2020

NFL reportedly rewarded ESPN with Chiefs-Ravens on ‘Monday Night Football’

Roger Goodell

The best game on the NFL schedule from a TV perspective might be the Week 3 game between the Baltimore Ravens and the Kansas City Chiefs. The game will pit Lamar Jackson and Patrick Mahomes against each other in a “Monday Night Football” showdown.

That the game is on “MNF” was not lost on anyone, and it’s not a coincidence. According to Peter King in his Football Morning in America column, CBS and NBC both badly wanted the game. Many in the TV industry believe that ESPN ultimately got it as a reward for their treatment of the NFL in the last few months.

With sports shut down, ESPN treated free agency like a major event, and worked with NFL Network to produce the most-watched NFL Draft in history. Insiders believe this factored into the league’s decision to reward the network with the consensus best game on the schedule.

Sometimes there are coincidental quirks in the schedule, but TV rights are never an accident. ESPN took advantage of a unique situation, and it seems they got a really good game out of it.

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