FOUR MORE YEARS FOR OLBERMANN…. For MSNBC, it’s hard to mess with success.

Keith Olbermann, the anchor of “Countdown,” will remain at MSNBC through the next presidential election season, the cable news channel announced Monday afternoon.

The announcement came less than two years into Mr. Olbermann’s current four-year deal. MSNBC essentially tore up his February 2007 contract (reported to be worth up to $4 million a year) and wrote a new one, according to two employees with knowledge of the agreement. The new contract is valued at about $7.5 million a year, one of the people said.

Mr. Olbermann will continue to anchor “Countdown” and co-host NBC’s “Football Night in America.” Reinforcing Mr. Olbermann’s value to MSNBC, the network said he would “play a prominent role” in “all major news events.”

Mr. Olbermann has anchored “Countdown,” the most popular program on MSNBC, since 2003. The program now draws more viewers than CNN in the 8 p.m. time slot.

Now all MSNBC has to do is extend a multi-year, multi-million-dollar contract to Maddow, and the network will have a very powerful prime-time line-up locked in for the foreseeable future.

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Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.