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ESPN in Deal with NFL to Air ‘Monday Night Football Classics’

In the next-best thing to airing live sports, ESPN has made a deal with the NFL to air iconic games from the last 15 years under the Monday Night Football Classics banner.

The games will air over the next five weeks on Monday nights, starting March 30.

Some of the advertising inventory in the games will support COVID-19 relief-focused organizations, ESPN said.

Since the COVID-19 crisis started leagues have been forced to close down, putting a severe pinch on networks in general and ESPN in particular. ESPN said airing these classic games will provide a welcome distraction for viewers in the middle of a “difficult and unprecedented time.” Live NFL football games draw some of the highest ratings on TV.

The first telecast will feature the highest-scoring game in MNF history, last year’s 54-51 shootout between the Los Angeles Rams and the Kansas City Chiefs.

Another game features the New Orleans Saints as they returned to the Superdome following Hurricane Katrina in 2006.

An hour of Peyton’s Places, featuring retired quarterback Peyton Manning, will precede Monday Night Football Classics at 7 p.m. each week.