NFL SELECTS OWN NETWORK FOR LAST PRIME-TIME TV PACKAGE
Rumors of a Thursday package have been circulating since the announcement of the new NFL packages with ESPN and NBC. Although it is a big move for the National Football League to pass up the rights fees for the eight game package it desperately needs to build up I own fledgling NFL Network. The 2-year-old cable network is seen in 40 million homes, but that will likely increase with more carriage deals, given the NFL's enormous popularity.
The inaugural game of the package is scheduled for Thanksgiving night (Nov. 23) as part of a new Thanksgiving Day tripleheader. “After discussing this new package of games with many potential partners, we decided it would be best presented on our own, high-quality NFL Network, which has developed so rapidly that the time had come to add live regular season games to the programming,” NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue said in a statement. “In the end, we wanted these games on our Network, which is devoted 24/7 to the sport of football, and not on a multi-sport network.”
Comcast's Outdoor Life Network, which was hoping to add the NFL to its newly acquired National Hockey League deal, was said to be a strong suitor for the package, which insiders say could have commanded $400 million - $500 million dollars. Fox and TNT were among the other networks believed to have been bidding for the Thursday-Saturday package. Links: MediaWeek Jan 28, ’06 – NFL Hands off Thurs/Sat Late Game Season to its own Network, AdAge.com Jan 29, ’06 – NFL Selects Own Network for last Prime-Time TV Package, B&C - NFL Network to Air Eight-Game Package SM Past Musings – The End of an Era for ABC Let me know you enjoyed the post by Digg it