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Old 06-21-2008, 09:21 AM   #1
Atlanta Dan
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Default NFL Network R.I.P.?

Looks as if the NFL may be conceding it cannot outmuscle cable TV

NFL in Talks With ESPN In Bid to End Cable Battle

Seeking to end an embarrassing dispute that kept live pro football games out of many homes, the National Football League's NFL Network is in talks to form a partnership with Walt Disney Co.'s ESPN cable sports network, according to people familiar with the situation.

An agreement would represent a big shift in strategy for the NFL: abandoning its effort to force cable operators into carrying its own network and thus paying it lucrative monthly fees. It would also send a message to other professional sports, which have enjoyed rising television fees for years, that even the biggest and most powerful league in the U.S. cannot launch a new channel without the consent of giant cable operators such as Comcast Corp. and Time Warner Cable Inc.
...

One scenario that has been discussed would involve combining the NFL Network with the ESPN Classic network, which has relatively low ratings but wider distribution. ESPN would broadcast eight more games per season on ESPN Classic, and then attempt to wring higher subscription fees than the 16 or 17 cents it currently receives for the channel, according to Derek Baine, a senior analyst for SNL Kagan.


http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1213..._us_whats_news
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Old 06-21-2008, 09:46 AM   #2
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Default Re: NFL Network R.I.P.?

The problem is that there just isn't enough programming to keep people interested in the NFL Network.

Combine the NFL Films stuff with the ESPN Classic stuff and you'd have yourself a pretty good network.
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Old 06-21-2008, 09:50 AM   #3
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Default Re: NFL Network R.I.P.?

I always thought the only way for the NFL network to really work would be for the NFL to schedule games across the entire week, so there were never two games going on at one time. Even then, they'd need more programming during the off-season. Maybe a partnership with Major League Soccer or something who's schedule doesn't overlap.

Of course there's two big potential problems with this. The most obvious one is scheduling issues where teams might not have enough time off between games (think about when we have a Monday night game followed by a Thursday night game). But in general putting games on cable cuts out the chunk of the viewing audience (like me) that doesn't have cable. That's thousands of less eyeballs you have to sell to your advertisers. Add on to that a fee structure that makes it even less likely that members of your audience will have your channel - either because the cable company won't pay the fee or the customer doesn't want to pay extra for it - and you're losing even more money. So you'd BETTER make sure that the fees are more than enough to offset the loss of ad revenue, and the loss of revenue on things like jerseys, hats, etc when your fan base inevitably shrinks.
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Old 06-21-2008, 11:43 AM   #4
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Default Re: NFL Network R.I.P.?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeremy View Post
The problem is that there just isn't enough programming to keep people interested in the NFL Network.

Combine the NFL Films stuff with the ESPN Classic stuff and you'd have yourself a pretty good network.
That's one way to go....

But there are 32 teams out there to use more aggressively in terms of programming possibilities !!

The way they currently cover each team with an episode of Toal Access could be expanded into giving each team two or more hours each week with the ones getting the ratings being placed into prime time.

....and that is just the beginning.....
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Old 06-21-2008, 12:02 PM   #5
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Default Re: NFL Network R.I.P.?

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Originally Posted by UK CANDY BEE View Post
That's one way to go....

But there are 32 teams out there to use more aggressively in terms of programming possibilities !!

The way they currently cover each team with an episode of Toal Access could be expanded into giving each team two or more hours each week with the ones getting the ratings being placed into prime time.

....and that is just the beginning.....
They already have programming like that. They do the history of each franchise along with each franchise's greatest games.
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Old 06-21-2008, 12:09 PM   #6
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Default Re: NFL Network R.I.P.?

You could see this one coming a mile away. NFL network / ESPN have been barely distinguishable from the beginning. I hate the idea of ESPN having even more control over the NFL than they do already. It's just a matter of time before they change the name to PSPN..... patsies sports network


Why would the NFL have to get in bed with ESPN??? Make a deal with the cable companies and move forward. This sucks IMO.
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Old 06-21-2008, 01:13 PM   #7
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Default Re: NFL Network R.I.P.?

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They already have programming like that. They do the history of each franchise along with each franchise's greatest games.
That is along the NFL Films line, what I am talking about is the individual team news and features that is currently just a part of Total Access....

....and a whole plethora of other programming that focuses on various aspects of each team !!
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Old 06-21-2008, 01:43 PM   #8
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Default Re: NFL Network R.I.P.?

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Originally Posted by UK CANDY BEE View Post
That is along the NFL Films line, what I am talking about is the individual team news and features that is currently just a part of Total Access....

....and a whole plethora of other programming that focuses on various aspects of each team !!
That would be a ratings disaster.
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Old 06-21-2008, 06:14 PM   #9
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Default Re: NFL Network R.I.P.?

Quote:
An agreement would represent a big shift in strategy for the NFL: abandoning its effort to force cable operators into carrying its own network and thus paying it lucrative monthly fees. It would also send a message to other professional sports, which have enjoyed rising television fees for years, that even the biggest and most powerful league in the U.S. cannot launch a new channel without the consent of giant cable operators such as Comcast Corp. and Time Warner Cable Inc....
Time Warner doesnt offer the NFL Network at all in NC.
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Old 06-21-2008, 08:40 PM   #10
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Default Re: NFL Network R.I.P.?

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That would be a ratings disaster.
So now you are Mr A.C. Neillson ??

The NFLN has never been a ratings giant, and they already know they have a specific target audience, not to mention what they have been doing to date could be described as a SUPER ratings disaster !!
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