Sport: The $2 Billion Understanding

TV signs the N.F.L. to a spectacular contract

It is the fattest TV deal in history. Last week National Football League Commissioner Pete Rozelle presented to the annual meeting of owners a $2 billion television contract that goes beyond spectacular almost all the way to embarrassing. For the next five years, each of the 28 teams in the league will be compensated by ABC, NBC and CBS at an average of $14.2 million per season—up from about $5.8 million.

The new contract keeps cable television and other pay-TV systems away from any N.F.L. action for another five years. NBC and CBS have...

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