It was announced last week that the Pro Bowl would be moving to Miami in 2010, but there’s also now news that CBS has declined to air the game, and ESPN has picked up the contest. It appears as if it’s just a one-year deal, but the “Leader” might have the option to continue airing the NFL All-Star game in the future. Via Reuters….
In 2009, it will be NBC. But now ESPN will have the 2010 Pro Bowl instead of CBS, which will still carry the Super Bowl on February 7.
It wasn’t clear why CBS declined to televise the Pro Bowl, though under the terms of the 2006 right agreements the National Football League has the right to shop the Pro Bowl rights for a particular year if that network doesn’t want them. That’s apparently what happened here.
Terms of the NFL-ESPN deal weren’t disclosed, but it’s believed to be a one-year deal. There is no information as yet to whether there are more years in the works. Fox Sports is scheduled to carry the 2011 Pro Bowl, along with the Super Bowl.
Picking up the Pro Bowl is probably cheap enough at this point, that the poor ratings won’t matter, and ESPN had done just as good a job with the game as they could in the past. The only problem is how much they’ll force ads for the game in our face, now that they own the 2010 rights.
2010 Pro Bowl going to ESPN (Reuters)