CBS, ESPN, Fox and NBC -- the four major networks that carry NFL games -- declined to say if they have contingency plans. But an ESPN source tells The Washington Post that nothing can replace the NFL, while a Fox Sports recently told an employee that no NFL season would be trouble for the network. "While there remains plenty of optimism the NFL will play — somehow, someway — networks are fixated on the league’s fall schedule given its dominant position as America’s most valuable television property," says The Washington Post's Ben Strauss. "They are invested, of course, in the planned returns of Major League Baseball, the NBA and other sports, but none carry the importance of the NFL, which accounted for 41 of the 50 top-rated telecasts of any kind in 2019. The lack of certainty has led to uncomfortable conversations among executives." ALSO: The rampant pessimism about the possibility of playing college football in the fall of 2020 has spiraled to fatalism.