Clay Travis of Out Kick The Coverage.
“This year ESPN will be televising the worst wild card game of the bunch in the worst time slot on the worst day for NFL football, the Oakland Raiders at the Houston Texans on Saturday afternoon.
It’s a battle between Matt McGloin/Connor Cook and Tom Savage/Brock Osweiler for the right to advance to play the New England Patriots and be executed on live television.
But until today I thought that at least ESPN was getting this wild card game as part of the $1.9 billion a year it pays for Monday Night Football and assorted other NFL studio shows. That Monday Night Football package just hit the lowest ratings in nearly a decade and narrowly avoided becoming the worst rated package of games in over forty years of Monday Night Football. But I was wrong about this game being included in that deal.
It turns out, and this is positively mind boggling, that ESPN pays $100 million dollars just to air this single wild card game.
Seriously, ESPN is paying $100 million to televise Raiders at Texans on Saturday.
Every other network that carries the NFL — NBC, CBS, and Fox — has their playoff games or the Super Bowl, which rotates between NBC, CBS and Fox each three years, included within their yearly rights fee. Except for ESPN, which pays an extra $100 million for one crappy wild card game.
But, wait, it gets worse.
ESPN can only make around $25 million airing this wild card game.
So ESPN will lose $75 million televising one playoff football game.”