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ESPN adds playoff attraction for NFL in Super Bowl push

ESPN will “Megacast” its wild card game in January and will have ABC simulcast some more “Monday Night Football” games in December as Disney further tries to entice the NFL as it seeks to gain a Super Bowl in forthcoming TV deals.

For the wild card game in early January, ESPN will have its lead MNF team of Steve Levy, Louis Riddick and Brian Griese on its network, as well as ABC. ESPN2 and FreeForm will use a different set of commentators for the game, producing an alternative format as the network has done for college football’s national championship game. The exact plans are not finalized yet. ESPN Deportes will have the Spanish language broadcast.

For two Monday nights in December, both involving the Bills (Dec. 7 vs. San Francisco and Dec. 28 vs New England), the games will simulcast on ABC. ESPN previously simulcast the Week 2 Monday nighter between the Saints and Raiders.

In other news, the NFL announced that its Saturday, Dec. 26 game between the Cardinals and 49ers will only be on Amazon Prime Video and Twitch. Prime Video will make it available in 240 countries.

Disney and Amazon are among the companies trying to close deals with the NFL on the next TV packages. Disney is hoping to add a Super Bowl in the next round of negotiations with the idea it would be featured on ABC. However, there is the possibility it could be on a number of networks, as CBS/Viacom will do this year.

College football coaches during a rehearsal for the 201 5 national championship megascat.
College football coaches during a rehearsal for the 201 5 national championship Megascat.Joe Faraoni

Disney is making a play for NBC’s Sunday Night package, but, if it fails there, it could go just as hard for another network’s games. There is a possibility ABC and ESPN both end up with their own sets of games.

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