Report: NFL Network will carry eight prime-time games January 28, 2006
NEW YORK (Ticker) - It appears the NFL will create a late-season television package for itself.
The New York Times is reporting that the league will place eight prime-time Thursday and Saturday games on its NFL Network, starting in 2006.
The league's network, which currently has about 35 million cable and satellite subscribers, has shown only preseason games in the past.
ADVERTISEMENT The NFL is richly compensated in television deals with CBS, Fox, NBC, ESPN and DirecTV. ABC's contract with the NFL will expire after Super Bowl XL on February 5.
According to the New York Times, the NFL Network schedule will be made up of games that would have been on Saturdays late in the season on CBS or Fox, or on those networks' regional schedules. The first game will be on Thanksgiving night between the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins.
The games will also be shown by local broadcasters in the markets where they are being played.
Just nine months ago, the NFL completed deals with NBC (six years, $3.6 billion) to carry Sunday night games and with ESPN (eight years, $8.8 billion) for Monday night games.
In November 2004, CBS and Fox extended their Sunday deals for six years.
Sure should be interesting to see this unfold in the coming months.
NFL Network to televise regular-season games Click here to find out more!
(Jan. 28, 2006) -- NFL Network, the NFL's two-year-old television channel, will begin airing a "run up to the playoffs" package of eight primetime regular-season NFL games starting in the 2006 season, Commissioner Paul Tagliabue announced.
The eight-game package will consist of primetime games airing from Thanksgiving to the end of the regular season on Thursday and/or Saturday nights.
The inaugural game of the package is scheduled for Thanksgiving night on Thursday, Nov. 23, as part of a new Thanksgiving Day tripleheader. Games telecast on NFL Network will include pregame and postgame shows.
"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," Commissioner Tagliabue said. "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."
NFL Network will make all of its games available on free, over-the-air television in the participating team markets, continuing the NFL's long-standing practice of making all of its games, including the playoffs and Super Bowl, available on free, over-the-air television.
"The NFL has traditionally been at the forefront of innovation and new technology dating back to starting NFL Films in the ‘60s, and Pete Rozelle and Roone Arledge creating Monday Night Football in 1970," said Commissioner Tagliabue. "With NFL Network, we are creating a fresh, innovative programming package that will complement all of our television partners."
NFL Network's new eight-game package was created by shifting Saturday and Sunday games from previous arrangements. In November of 2004, CBS and FOX agreed to extend their packages for six more years. NBC and ESPN last April secured rights for six and eight years, respectively.
"It was decided after surveying the rapidly evolving media landscape that a year-round channel dedicated to our sport was the best way to continue to develop and serve our fan base," NFL Network President & CEO Steve Bornstein said. "This is an opportune time to present these games ourselves and develop new ways to deliver the game of football at all levels to sports fans."
Agreements for all available NFL television packages now are concluded. Following are the rights holders beginning in 2006:
biju wrote:I'm not a huge fan of the NFL moving toward cable for its games. It would seem they would rather grow the market than shrink it. Taking the NFL off "free" TV seems like a bad move.
Ditto. I mean Thanksgiving without Fox and the Turducken is going to be different and definately will suck cause I'm sure no one in my family is going to order the Network. Plus, I would want to watch the saturday games too. And I can't get the NFL Network through my provider anyways. This sucks...
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Gnu314 wrote:I don't mind the other thursday and saturday games but to take away the thanksgiving game from a national audience is really really lame. Whoever thought this up should get their toe nails pulled out.
yeah I agree, i'm gonna miss a thanksgiving NFL game for the first time in 10 years...to protest I will not watch a single NFL game all year. Well, maybe not.
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