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December 2, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

NBC and the NFL have begun talks aimed at renewing Sunday Night Football, with the NFL making it clear it wants a significant increase in payments, the New York Post reported today (Friday). The current deal calls for NBC to pay the NFL about $600 million yearly for rights to air the Sunday games. According to the newspaper, the NFL initiated the negotiations early, ahead of the networks’ talks with cable and satellite operators over retransmission consent deals. “NFL is squeezing the networks for more money,” one person close to the talks told the Post. “They know that broadcast partners will be willing to go a little higher if they can extract it from retrans [agreements].” Moreover, the NFL knows that it’s in the driver’s seat. As another person close to the talks told the Post, “The only [high-rated] show NBC has in prime time is football; it’s the only thing that keeps them in the demos and the NFL totally knows it.” NBC and the NFL each declined comment on the Post report.