Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

27 Mar 2006

NFL Announces Opening, Thanksgiving Games

As has become its custom in recent years, the NFL announces its national TV games for opening weekend, with Miami@Pittsburgh in the Thursday opener, the "Manning Bowl" on Sunday Night, and a Monday Night double-header, as well as the first-ever Thanksgiving triple-header.

Posted by: Russell Levine on 27 Mar 2006

90 comments, Last at 29 Mar 2006, 8:03pm by Are-Tee

Comments

1
by David (not verified) :: Mon, 03/27/2006 - 4:33pm

More cable-only games make me sad.

2
by jebmak (not verified) :: Mon, 03/27/2006 - 4:37pm

Alright! I will get to watch at least two Fins games over here in Iowa.

3
by Luz (not verified) :: Mon, 03/27/2006 - 4:37pm

i really wish the nfl would stop screwing the entire east coast with the late monday night starts.

does anybody on the west coast really care if they miss the first quarter? seriously, i'm asking. because it really sucks to miss the 4th quarter.

4
by Tally (not verified) :: Mon, 03/27/2006 - 4:44pm

The difference is that East Coasters have the choice to stay up past midnight to watch the 4th, while West Coasters will still be in gridlock and not have any choice but to miss the 1st. Ratings-wise, I'm sure this turns out to be the best way, since it's what the NFL is doing.

5
by Michael David Smith :: Mon, 03/27/2006 - 4:44pm

I guess I'll be taking the day off on Sept. 12.

6
by TomC (not verified) :: Mon, 03/27/2006 - 4:47pm

Any guesses as to who might call the Vikings/Skins early Monday nighter? I'll throw my hat in with The Stooges v2.1, with Sean Salisbury playing the part of Shemp.

7
by Green Bay for Life (not verified) :: Mon, 03/27/2006 - 4:53pm

RE 5

you and me both. Ugh....
who's idea was it for a MNF double header. I got it I will visit Starbucks just after the second game and load up on a Triple shot Venti White Choclate Mocha add in 3 extra shots of espresso and I will be good to go for that tuesday.

YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :-)

8
by Adam (not verified) :: Mon, 03/27/2006 - 5:03pm

I still say this NFL Network game thing is a horrible, horrible, horrible idea.

They'd get more viewers if they didn't try to mess with it.

The Manning Vs. Manning bowl will be without a doubt the worst football telecast ever. The only thing that would make it interesting is if the loser of the game gets kicked out of the family and has to change his name to Fluffy McFluffypants.

9
by JRM (not verified) :: Mon, 03/27/2006 - 5:03pm

i really wish the nfl would stop screwing the entire east coast with the late monday night starts.

Look at it this way- usually those without Direct TV wouldn't have the option of watching the game at all. And realistically, they couldn't start the beginning of the first game any earlier than 7:00.

(This is coming from a New Englander who lived among zombies during the 2004 Red Sox v Yankees series, when IIRC two games in a row ended after 1:00 AM on weeknights).

Re: #1- the last time I didn't have cable was in 1981. We got five channels, six if you include PBS. I don't know how many channels you get, but realistically you're just not going to see a lot of football.

Does anyone remember the constant droning from 20 years ago where we repeatedly heard that "oversaturation" was going to kill both NFL and NCAA Football?

10
by Theo (not verified) :: Mon, 03/27/2006 - 5:03pm

Stop complaining! I live in Europe!

11
by JRM (not verified) :: Mon, 03/27/2006 - 5:08pm

I still say this NFL Network game thing is a horrible, horrible, horrible idea.

It's an EXCELLENT idea. By having real NFL games it increases a demand for the product and makes cable companies more likely to carry NFL Network.

There's a lot of potential dollars in NFL Network.

12
by Purds (not verified) :: Mon, 03/27/2006 - 5:10pm

I'd rather early start than late finished. TiVo the start, and catch up to the live game by fast-forwarding through the ads.

Now, if my problem is the game ends too late, what are my choices? No viewing, no sleep, or I guess getting up early to watch the end?

Start them early.

13
by Green Bay for Life (not verified) :: Mon, 03/27/2006 - 5:10pm

RE 9

I think he was refering to the NFL network as opposed to the rest of the cable system. and yes if you do not have Direct TV (I do) it is really hard to get acess to the NFL network. it is not offered by dish and very few of the "Major" cable companies offer it up. so yea that thrid Thanksgiving day game being on NFL network only kid of sucks for those that do not have Dircet TV. IMO I think the football should start at 8:00 am (PST) for game 1 and then at 12:00 (PST) for game 2 and then a late game at like 5:00 (pst) and then FOX and CBS get a game each, and ESPN/NBC can fight over the last one.

14
by Adam (not verified) :: Mon, 03/27/2006 - 5:17pm

I just think it's a bad idea to broadcast your games on a network the majority of your audience doesn't have access to.

It's not like the NFL's network TV deals are broken. Why try to fix it?

And regardless of what the NFL does, I will refer to the loser of the Manning bowl as Fluffy Mcfluffy pants....maybe the winner too.

15
by JRM (not verified) :: Mon, 03/27/2006 - 5:28pm

so yea that thrid Thanksgiving day game being on NFL network only kid of sucks for those that do not have Dircet TV.

I don't see what sucks. I don't get Direct TV or NFL Network. I got two Thanksgiving games last year, and I'll get two this year. Maybe in a year or so I'll get three, after my cable company picks up NFL Network due to increased demand.

16
by JRM (not verified) :: Mon, 03/27/2006 - 5:34pm

I just think it’s a bad idea to broadcast your games on a network the majority of your audience doesn’t have access to.

During the season they do that every single Sunday.

It’s not like the NFL’s network TV deals are broken. Why try to fix it?

One could have said that 15 years ago when franchises as a whole were worth 10% of what they are now.

If the NFL sees potential in a new revenue stream, they'd be foolish not to take advantage of the potential earnings.

17
by jim's apple pie (not verified) :: Mon, 03/27/2006 - 5:36pm

Wow ... Philip Rivers' first start will be on Monday night ... September 11th ... against Oakland ... IN Oakland. Why do the schedule makers hate the Chargers so much?

18
by RW (not verified) :: Mon, 03/27/2006 - 5:36pm

The article in the KC Star stated that local stations in the KC and Denver areas will be showing the telecast on regular TV. Not that it helps anyone outside those areas, just pointing this out.

19
by bowman (not verified) :: Mon, 03/27/2006 - 5:37pm

Do you think the DAL-JAX game was a sweetener to make Wayne Weaver accept the new revenue-sharing agreement? I don't know how else JAX can get a high-profile time slot.

If Jacksonville can't sell out this game, they deserve to move to LA...

20
by jim's apple pie (not verified) :: Mon, 03/27/2006 - 5:39pm

Of course, Oakland sucks now, and they'll most likely have the Aaron Brooks experience going, but still ... why does Oakland even get to play on Monday night, much less host? I understand they have a lot of fans nationally, but they've sucked the last three years. And it doesn't look like they're going to be much better this year.

21
by wrmjr (not verified) :: Mon, 03/27/2006 - 5:40pm

Well, I don't want to wish an injury on anyone, but it would be great if one of the Mannings could come down with a stomach flu about 8 hours before game time, thus preventing the "history-making" event.

And I'm a 'skins fan, but is Redskins-Vikings really the best game they could come up with to open MNF on ESPN??

22
by Adam (not verified) :: Mon, 03/27/2006 - 5:40pm

"During the season they do that every single Sunday."
----------------

Not really. I may not get to see all the guys (or even the game I want to see) on Sundays but i'm still seeing the same number of games as everyone else. I still have access to an NFL game. Not so here. Most of your audience is missing out.

23
by GlennW (not verified) :: Mon, 03/27/2006 - 5:48pm

> I don’t see what sucks. I don’t get Direct TV or NFL Network. I got two Thanksgiving games last year, and I’ll get two this year. Maybe in a year or so I’ll get three, after my cable company picks up NFL Network due to increased demand.

Exactly. Even if you do have DirecTV, these extra NFL Network games are ones you wouldn't have otherwise been able to watch last year (at least not without a split screen). The handful of NFL Network games will be broadcast locally on free TV, so all the NFL is really doing is expanding their number of timeslots. If you're personally over-saturated, you won't watch in the Thursday timeslot (or you'll trade for a Sunday game), but otherwise you may have an additional option.

24
by GlennW (not verified) :: Mon, 03/27/2006 - 5:52pm

> Do you think the DAL-JAX game was a sweetener to make Wayne Weaver accept the new revenue-sharing agreement? I don’t know how else JAX can get a high-profile time slot.

What's so special about this timeslot anyway? It's a normal FOX 4pm game, right? Or are they clearing out the entire 4pm schedule to make this one exclusive?

25
by Pat (not verified) :: Mon, 03/27/2006 - 5:58pm

I got two Thanksgiving games last year, and I’ll get two this year.

True, but last year if your team wasn't on TV on Thanksgiving, it was on Sunday, and you could go out to a sports bar like every other week.

Now, if they're not on Thanksgiving, you might have to go to a sports bar on Thanksgiving.

Which of these will get me shot by my wife? Oh yeah, the second.

26
by GlennW (not verified) :: Mon, 03/27/2006 - 5:59pm

> I still have access to an NFL game. Not so here. Most of your audience is missing out.

This sounds like a "fairness" argument that isn't completely understandable (i.e. if anyone can get the game, we all should be able to get it, for free). Well, that philosophy went out the window a long time ago (and not just with the NFL, obviously). As has been noted, out of market these NFL Network games would have been effectively blacked out for all but NFL Sunday Ticket subscribers anyway. If anything, the NFL Network is only diluting the Sunday Ticket offering and making it slightly less attractive by putting more games on "free" TV, especially as cable companies increasingly pick up the NFL Network (which will happen).

27
by JAT (not verified) :: Mon, 03/27/2006 - 6:01pm

#23: "Exactly. Even if you do have DirecTV, these extra NFL Network games are ones you wouldn’t have otherwise been able to watch last year (at least not without a split screen). The handful of NFL Network games will be broadcast locally on free TV, so all the NFL is really doing is expanding their number of timeslots."

That's not exactly true - you're forgetting about the late season Thursday/Saturday games that in the past were shown on the over-the-air networks, and will now be shown on the NFL network. However, that should work to the advantage of getting the NFL network on most major cable systems by the time the season starts.

28
by empty13 (not verified) :: Mon, 03/27/2006 - 6:06pm

24.

Great. We all get to see Romo/Henson get jammed into a game real early.

29
by Adam (not verified) :: Mon, 03/27/2006 - 6:08pm

Why not put all the games on NFL Network? Or better yet, lets go pay-per-view and really increase revenue streams!

Okay, now i'm just getting carried away. Hopefully.

I just don't see the point.

But then again, I'm still one of those simpletons that looks at the NFL as simply football and a reason to get together with friends and drink beer and eat sandwiches with french fries on them and not some corporate money making machine.

I'll stop now.

So how about that Eli Manning?

30
by GlennW (not verified) :: Mon, 03/27/2006 - 6:10pm

> That’s not exactly true - you’re forgetting about the late season Thursday/Saturday games that in the past were shown on the over-the-air networks, and will now be shown on the NFL network.

These NFL Network games are all in primetime Thursday and Saturday-- in the past the late-season Saturday games were in the afternoon. I thought that the primary networks would retain those Saturday afternoon games (there are only three NFL-N Sat games), but may be mistaken about that.

31
by GlennW (not verified) :: Mon, 03/27/2006 - 6:13pm

> But then again, I’m still one of those simpletons that looks at the NFL as simply football and a reason to get together with friends and drink beer and eat sandwiches with french fries on them and not some corporate money making machine.

I agree with you, but the point is that the NFL isn't really taking any of this away. From my vantage point they're just giving me more opportunities to get drunk and watch football. ;-)

32
by Dennis (not verified) :: Mon, 03/27/2006 - 6:21pm

Dish Network does carry the NFL Network.

33
by JRM (not verified) :: Mon, 03/27/2006 - 6:26pm

Ten years (or so) ago my cable company did not carry ESPN 2. I'd go BALLISTIC once or twice a month when there was something on ESPN 2 that I really wanted to see.

Every month I'd mail in my cable bill with a polite note asking them to start carrying ESPN 2 and the E! Network.

It took a while, but they eventually started carrying those networks. I'm not saying my dopey notes had anything to do with it, but ESPN 2 managed to create a demand for their new network, and it eventually became a staple for cable TV programming.

My guess is that the NFL is copying that formula. You may not get NFL Network for a year or two, but my guess is that it'll be available to all of us in time.

34
by snik75 (not verified) :: Mon, 03/27/2006 - 6:28pm

I agree with #1 - I like football, I don't have cable, and it bugs me when there are games I can't watch. True of Sunday night football in the past, will be true of these games too. It doesn't bug me enough to get cable, though, because I don't need all that other crap. I suppose I am not the die hard fan to whom they are marketing, but I read this site and I have been to a few games. And I think a big part of the NBA's decline was that the games, expecially the playoffs, migrated to cable. Can't watch it = don't care. We'll see.

35
by Adam (not verified) :: Mon, 03/27/2006 - 6:29pm

I hope you guys are right. I just have this fear in my mind that one day i'm not going to be able to see my local games because they're on some network that I don't get. Unfounded as it may be....it's still in there.

So anyway....what are the chances that Miami's starting QB in week one is Tommy Maddox?

Talk about being thrown to the lions.

36
by Countertorque (not verified) :: Mon, 03/27/2006 - 6:34pm

RE: #29

Pay per view would be awesome. Then I'd only be paying for the games I actually watch, not for every single game (even though I can't watch them all), like I am now, with DTV.

37
by JRM (not verified) :: Mon, 03/27/2006 - 6:35pm

Why not put all the games on NFL Network? Or better yet, lets go pay-per-view and really increase revenue streams!

To this day I have no idea why the NFL doesn't have that- do they have an exclusive deal with Direct TV?

The NBA, MLB, NHL, College Football, and College Basketball all have it. It's a nice option for displaced fans or for the CRAZED FANATICS* that have to see everything.

*I got the college football package every year until my cable carrier stopped offering it.

38
by Pat (not verified) :: Mon, 03/27/2006 - 6:49pm

but my guess is that it’ll be available to all of us in time.

Where

39
by Pat (not verified) :: Mon, 03/27/2006 - 6:50pm

grr. where all of us equals those with cable.

40
by Smeghead (not verified) :: Mon, 03/27/2006 - 6:50pm

Stop complaining! I live in Europe!

Perspective, man. I'll trade you northern Virginia and all the cable packages you want for that action. Just watch the games on

41
by Smeghead (not verified) :: Mon, 03/27/2006 - 6:52pm

uh, the rest of that was:

Internet teevee from a baguetterie on the Left Bank and feel the currency appreciating in your pocket...

42
by James G (not verified) :: Mon, 03/27/2006 - 6:54pm

I hate both early starts and late finishes. I've lived on the east and west coasts. As a student, either one works well. With real jobs, both suck. And I did care that I'd miss 1/2 games in the west. And I cared last year when I couldn't manage to stay up for the Monday night games unless I really, really cared about them. And then paid for it.

My solution? I need to move back to the Mountain Time Zone, where I grew up. Starting times at 7 and finishes at a reasonable hour. Only if I could find a job to lead me back there...

43
by GlennW (not verified) :: Mon, 03/27/2006 - 6:57pm

Yes, the NFL has an exclusive pay-game deal with DirecTV. Even then, I would think that DirecTV could choose to implement PPV, but from my experience with PPV, if you want to watch all your team's games, it's not going to be cheaper with PPV.

44
by GlennW (not verified) :: Mon, 03/27/2006 - 7:03pm

I think the NFL has proved that it is smarter than to move its core games off free broadcast TV-- the more widespread popularity it has, the more reason to leave those games on free TV (where if anything it is being overpaid for its rights by the broadcast networks, as a network-advertising loss leader). The reason that the NBA (or MLB) has migrated to cable is that it's simply not popular enough to compete with the range of higher-rated junk shows in primetime. Unfortunate maybe, but democratic nonetheless.

45
by Ryguy (not verified) :: Mon, 03/27/2006 - 7:05pm

re42.. you probably got it right, but I thought it was easier on the west even though the games end at 10, it feels like it's been enough when it's 11pm. This Monday Night doubleheader is a really bad idea. And does the NFL really think stealing late night ratings from baseball will work?

Re: Thanksgiving night, I always thought that was reserved for watching a christmas movie (National Lampoons Christmas Vacation- all time favorite).

46
by Matthew Furtek (not verified) :: Mon, 03/27/2006 - 7:12pm

The NFL TV deal is severly lacking. They need to start offering Season DVD Sets for $100 a pop per team. Make these the full broadcasts that are available on TV. Games 1-8 Part I can be $50 and DVD released about now (March timeframe). Games 9-16 can be Part II $50 a pop and released in June for minicamps.

Additionally in June the NFL can release all 11 playoff games, with the Super Bowl. Best Buy/Circuit City can even add a disc with all the commercials on DVD. I would seriously pay $150 for DVDs, which is more than the NFL Sunday Ticket Package! I don't understand why the NFL and Networks don't agree to it... TV shows get Season DVD set, but not Sports?

Wouldn't it be great if children of the future could watch some of the great football games of our time? I'm not talking about a 20 minute NFL films highlights either. It would be nice to own a copy of the Tampa Bay-Indianpolis MNF comeback, as well as the Jets-Dolphins(?) MNF comeback, and a whole bunch of other games. Heck... this past week I watched the Bengals-Browns 2004 Week 12 game... Kelly Holcomb and Carson Palmer in the highest scoring NFL game since the merger. Did anyone else try to watch the CBS March Madness on Demand?

Having problems with comments for some reason. Maybe they don't like quotes.

47
by JRM (not verified) :: Mon, 03/27/2006 - 7:19pm

grr. where all of us equals those with cable.

Is there a reason why you don't get cable or Direct TV? If those services are unavailable in your area, then I'm genuinely sorry.

If you're simply electing not to get cable, you can't grouse over not getting the perks that having cable offers.

I mean, if I chose not to use electricity, I wouldn't see any NFL games on TV, and that would be a product of my decision.

48
by GlennW (not verified) :: Mon, 03/27/2006 - 7:25pm

Re. 46:

I think this kind of thing (DVDs, video on demand etc.) is what Tagliabue is referring to in his latest statements at the league meetings. It's just a matter of making the production and distribution cost-effective and profitable:

We are looking hard at all of the digital media service opportunities. We're looking at the Internet... I've been saying for some years that the face of professional sports will probably change as much in the next 10 or 15 years as it's changed in the last 30 to 50 years, and I think a lot of that change is going to be driven by the digital media, the globalization of media, the internationalization of sports and the demographic changes in the United States. I think it's a very exciting time. I wish I was 40 instead of 65.

49
by Matthew Furtek (not verified) :: Mon, 03/27/2006 - 7:25pm

I think the biggest complaint about cable is that you can't get it ala carte. I'm sure on some carriers you'd have to pay extra for a Sports Package to get the NFL Network.

This is why we are all subjected to the Lifetime network, and 8 channels with Law and Order oon at the same time.

I'd rather be able to choose 10 cable channels + basic cable for $30/month than spend $60/month to get the NFL Network + 100 channels I don't watch.

50
by Dennis (not verified) :: Mon, 03/27/2006 - 7:27pm

Re #46: The Sunday Ticket is up to $220 now.

51
by JRM (not verified) :: Mon, 03/27/2006 - 7:29pm

The reason that the NBA (or MLB) has migrated to cable is that it’s simply not popular enough to compete with the range of higher-rated junk shows in primetime.

What's ironic is that the very reason MNF is moving to ESPN is due to low ratings, but that's not the case for the other two sports.

There are more NBA games on network TV than ever, and now the playoffs are in prime time. I remember back when the NBA *Finals* started at 11:30 Eastern when the games involved west coast teams.

Years ago MLB had two national telecasts a week- a Saturday game and a Monday night game. Those games did well in the ratings largely due to the fact that there was a scarcity of baseball on TV. Those were the only times I ever got to see a National League team during the regular season.

The Saturday afternoon game is still there, but the Monday night game is gone. It's been replaced by ESPN broadcasting close to a dozen games during the course of a week. Not a bad tradeoff.

52
by Matthew Furtek (not verified) :: Mon, 03/27/2006 - 7:36pm

GlennW,
I can see how the NFL would be a little bit harder, but they are 5 years behind television shows. Seeing as how there are ~ 200 episodes per total NFL season split between 4 networks it is a nightmare from a production standpoint.

I'd be all for allowing teams the use of the TV footage and radio announcers to splice the game together and produce and distribute in their own way.

The Internet is just amazing in how easy it is to distribute thing over broadband. If you looked around team messageboards I wouldn't be surprised if at least 100 games were available this past year for download. Not to mention the highlights packages put together by those with a DVR on their computer.

53
by GlennW (not verified) :: Mon, 03/27/2006 - 7:37pm

> There are more NBA games on network TV than ever, and now the playoffs are in prime time. I remember back when the NBA *Finals* started at 11:30 Eastern when the games involved west coast teams.

I guess I'm thinking more of regular-season games, and therefore games overall, in the NBA but especially MLB. Those games have been gobbled up by dedicated sports channels, and are no longer on free broadcast TV (even if previously broadcast only on UHF stations). But again, from my vantage point, so much the better. The every-game availability and quality is far superior if you don't mind paying at least *something* for it (and I don't).

54
by PantsB (not verified) :: Mon, 03/27/2006 - 7:46pm

>>The reason that the NBA (or MLB) has migrated to cable is that it’s simply not popular enough to compete with the range of higher-rated junk shows in primetime. Unfortunate maybe, but democratic nonetheless.

Plus, there are 162 MLB games for each team and 16 for each NFL team. If MLB games were all on Network TV, there wouldnt be room for anything else. With some teams in their home markets, they'd do well (Boston, NY) which is why they have their own cable networks (NESN, YES). With most it wouldn't.

55
by GlennW (not verified) :: Mon, 03/27/2006 - 7:49pm

> I can see how the NFL would be a little bit harder, but they are 5 years behind television shows.

I think pre-recorded games will have to be very cheap to distribute and sell, because demand on a per-game (or even per-season) basis is going to be quite low comparatively. Fans of certain TV shows can be very devoted, and a good show or movie lends itself to enjoyable viewing over and over again over the years. Sports are another matter; even as a diehard fan I never get the same enjoyment as I did watching the first time, live (and the fastest way for me to clear the room receiving dirty looks all around is to start breaking down games play-by-play from a DVR recording). I'd buy some stuff, but on average I think it's a much tougher sell, which is why the NFL is lagging.

56
by GlennW (not verified) :: Mon, 03/27/2006 - 8:04pm

> Re #46: The Sunday Ticket is up to $220 now.

Yes, even as a discounted renewal subscriber since the ST came out in 1994, I'm up to $200. By the 'what would you pay?' standard, I'd still go up to as much as $300 before thinking about a sports bar (maybe I should start passing the hat, but I probably make half of the price up anyway from visitors' food-and-beer offerings). I realize that not everyone can/will do this.

57
by Mr Shush (not verified) :: Mon, 03/27/2006 - 8:49pm

Smeghead, if you think the demand exists in Europe for a baguetterie on the left bank to stay open until five in the morning so that people can watch football you've got another thing coming. Maybe, maybe for the Superbowl, but that's it.

I do often try to stay up for the Sunday and Monday night games (which generally kick off at one or two am UK time), but I usually fall asleep during them, even if they're pretty exciting - especially on Sundays, when I've got drunk watching the first two games. Yes, I could record them on SkyPlus and watch them the next day, but it's really not the same at all.

Mind you, you want to know the actual stupidest thing about UK football coverage? There is no channel at all, anywhere on which you can watch NFL Europe games other than the World Bowl. Junk highlights on Sky, and that's it.

58
by Pat (not verified) :: Mon, 03/27/2006 - 8:53pm

Is there a reason why you don’t get cable or Direct TV?

Yup: because Time Warner would force me to pay a ridiculous amount for worse reception than I'd get from an antenna.

I don't know why people think satellite is a viable alternative to a cable monopoly in an area. It's not. You need a south-facing outside wall and an unobstructed view of the satellite.

But, of course, the biggest problem is...

I think the biggest complaint about cable is that you can’t get it ala carte. I’m sure on some carriers you’d have to pay extra for a Sports Package to get the NFL Network.

Exactly. I don't want 95% of the shows on TV. I want to support the NFL. I don't want to support cable providers.

It's just silly for the NFL to tie themselves into cable providers/satellite providers as much as they are. They're already providing Internet radio themselves. They have to realize the fact that the cable providers and satellite providers should have no say whatsoever in who they can reach.

And I can say one thing: can you honestly tell me that if the NFL offered for download (oh, hell, and even offer it via BitTorrent to save on distribution costs) the games it showed on NFL Network the next day, that tons of fans wouldn't grab it? Even if it was for a nominal fee?

I don't like cable-only NFL games because it's a silly thing for the NFL to do. It essentially gives the cable companies leverage in negotiations.

I mean, if I chose not to use electricity, I wouldn’t see any NFL games on TV

Unless you had a battery powered television.

Oh, and the other reason I have a big problem with the NFL Network Thanksgiving game is noted above. It's because it's Thanksgiving. Normally if you don't get a cable-only game, you can just scoot out to a bar. You can't do that on Thanksgiving. So that's a game I'll miss (and thankfully, not one I care about).

59
by JRM (not verified) :: Mon, 03/27/2006 - 9:05pm

I don’t know why people think satellite is a viable alternative to a cable monopoly in an area. It’s not. You need a south-facing outside wall and an unobstructed view of the satellite.

I know the feeling. A few years back I moved into a duplex and ordered Direct TV. The installer came out and said that there were too many trees in the way.

It’s because it’s Thanksgiving. Normally if you don’t get a cable-only game, you can just scoot out to a bar. You can’t do that on Thanksgiving.

Wow- around here the bars are packed on Thanksgiving Night.

I agree that with technology changing, we'll likely be seeing more programs available on the internet. Then again, I heard that ten years ago :)

60
by GlennW (not verified) :: Mon, 03/27/2006 - 9:15pm

> I don’t like cable-only NFL games because it’s a silly thing for the NFL to do. It essentially gives the cable companies leverage in negotiations.

You really think the NFL doesn't understand its business in this area? In any case, I don't see what the alternative is to satellite/cable-only telecasts, if the NFL wants to expand its coverage (which is also what I, the customer, want). The broadcast networks aren't interested in more games. In fact they already artificially limit the number of games even on Sunday afternoons with the CBS/FOX weekly rotation, which serves as a no-compete protection in the given timeslot.

Internet telecasts aren't going to fly (yet) either as an alternative-- they don't have the quality or the universal appeal as a live video broadcast medium. I can already receive the NFL Network in high-def (and these new telecasts will be broadcast in HD)-- I much prefer that to an Internet stream even if it costs a couple bucks more per month.

61
by Pat (not verified) :: Mon, 03/27/2006 - 9:16pm

Wow- around here the bars are packed on Thanksgiving Night.

Single guys. Or else they will be soon enough. :)

Then again, I heard that ten years ago

It was dumb ten years ago. The broadband penetration wasn't high enough, and the bandwidth requirements would've been too high anyway. Nowadays broadband is cheaper than dialup, and peer-to-peer technology is seriously maturing. As a case in point, I never thought VoIP would actually work, but Skype made it work with P2P.

62
by GlennW (not verified) :: Mon, 03/27/2006 - 9:20pm

> Wow- around here the bars are packed on Thanksgiving Night.

Yep-- it's that one special night of the year where a lot of people are just dying to get out of the house. In any case, these kind of distinctions are going to vary, and you can't make everyone happy. If I had to in order to watch my team, I'd much rather go out on Thanksgiving night than the following Sunday or Monday nights (because I can sleep the next day). And we're talking about one game all year anyway.

63
by Green Bay for Life (not verified) :: Mon, 03/27/2006 - 9:20pm

RE 56

I do pass the hat(in a sense) for NFL sunday ticket. I have friends out here on the west coast that are JETS fans, BROWNS fans, REDSKINS fans and PATS fans so what I do is have 3 different TV's set up around my house ( I got lucky and got into the house in the mid 90's before the price rocketted out of control) and we choose which games we are going to watch on which TV. with a fourth Taping my GB game if I get out voted. all I ask is that they bring the beer, soda, chips, dip. I provide the Meat for the sunday BBQ and the Direct TV. It is a very cool way of having a good time with your friends and not making them think that you want them to pay you back since you are out $200 on NFL Sunday Ticket.

64
by GlennW (not verified) :: Mon, 03/27/2006 - 9:31pm

> I provide the Meat for the sunday BBQ and the Direct TV. It is a very cool way of having a good time with your friends and not making them think that you want them to pay you back since you are out $200 on NFL Sunday Ticket.

You even supply the BBQ? Yes, that is indeed 'very cool'. If I lived on the West Coast I think I'd give up my arrangement for such a generous one as yours (I have two good viewing rooms-- one HD for the local network games-- and a third small one in a pinch). I'll open the grill but I ain't cookin'. ;-)

65
by Pat (not verified) :: Mon, 03/27/2006 - 9:39pm

You really think the NFL doesn’t understand its business in this area?

Uh. Yes?

What, you think the NFL is perfect? You think they

66
by Pat (not verified) :: Mon, 03/27/2006 - 9:40pm

Wow, that didn't work.

Anyway, that was supposed to be a link to the AFL. The reason the AFL survived is because the NFL didn't go after television rights as fast as the AFL did.

67
by GlennW (not verified) :: Mon, 03/27/2006 - 9:54pm

I don't think the NFL is perfect, but I think they know that they're better off launching and promoting their own NFL Network in part by televising a handful of games (they sure didn't give up anything significant in their latest deal with the networks) than by trying to sell those games over the Internet. Now, yes, as a consumer I would personally rather see the new games on one of the ESPN network channels, due to its more extended reach. But it's still cable/satellite-only.

68
by Pat (not verified) :: Mon, 03/27/2006 - 10:12pm

I don’t think the NFL is perfect, but I think they know that they’re better off launching and promoting their own NFL Network in part by televising a handful of games (they sure didn’t give up anything significant in their latest deal with the networks) than by trying to sell those games over the Internet.

The reason they're wrong is that they believe these two things are mutually exclusive.

There's nothing wrong with the NFL Network per se. The problem is not broadcasting (or rebroadcasting) the content elsewhere as well.

69
by PatsFan (not verified) :: Mon, 03/27/2006 - 10:28pm

I bet the games on NFL Network (the Thanksgiving day game plus the late-season ones) will be broadcast over-the-air in the home markets of the teams playing (just like what was done with the ESPN Sunday Night games).

70
by GlennW (not verified) :: Mon, 03/27/2006 - 10:56pm

> There’s nothing wrong with the NFL Network per se. The problem is not broadcasting (or rebroadcasting) the content elsewhere as well.

I see your point. I don't want to screw around on the Internet to watch these games (especially re-broadcasts), and I suspect the vast majority of fans don't, but that still doesn't mean that the NFL can't incrementally supplement what they're already doing. I think this alternative is the kind of thing that Tagliabue was referring to; as with anything the NFL needs some initiative and a critical mass to get it off the ground.

71
by BK (not verified) :: Mon, 03/27/2006 - 11:10pm

So does anybody have the full details of the new CBA yet. I wonder how Upshaw and the NFL figured out how to value the NFL network deal. I mean the NFL could have made $200M a year selling the Thurs-Sun night package but instead chose to keep it on the NFL network, thus foregoing that extra revenue. That would have meant an extra $120M in the salary cap (just estimating here).

72
by JRM (not verified) :: Mon, 03/27/2006 - 11:24pm

There’s nothing wrong with the NFL Network per se. The problem is not broadcasting (or rebroadcasting) the content elsewhere as well.

My guess is that the NFL is trying to build the NFL Network brand. Why would anyone want NFL Network if you could get the content elsewhere?

The NFL is being smart by creating a demand for the NFL Network. At the risk of repeating myself, that baby has major earnings potential- if the NFL Network were a stock, I'd buy it.

73
by Vern (not verified) :: Mon, 03/27/2006 - 11:53pm

Wasn't all this said years ago about putting NFL games on ESPN? How'd that work out?

In my day, you watched the NFL on a tiny black and white TV with only 13 channels and only 4 of those ever worked, we didn't have fancy

74
by Vern (not verified) :: Mon, 03/27/2006 - 11:55pm

In my day, you watched the NFL on a tiny black and white TV with only 13 channels and only 4 of those ever worked, we didn't have fancy HDTV with instant replay and ten camera angles, we had a one sideline camera for the whole game and we had to stand one foot in front of the TV holding the antenna in one hand just to see that, if the receiver ran too fast you mised the touchdown and you got back pain and radiation sickness but that's the way it was AND WE LIKED IT!

75
by Pat (not verified) :: Tue, 03/28/2006 - 12:16am

My guess is that the NFL is trying to build the NFL Network brand. Why would anyone want NFL Network if you could get the content elsewhere?

If you pay for the content elsewhere, you'd want the NFL Network because it would be cheaper (or apparently cheaper) because you get it 'free with cable.' Or it could be lower-quality on the Internet as well.

However, having the content available for cost elsewhere is huge, because it removes the leverage the cable companies have on the situation. It also allows the NFL to have firmer control over the distribution of the content than staying with temperamental cable companies.

Essentially what you're doing is trying to make NFL Network independent of the cable company's whims. If the NFL can drive demand for it on television (and hey, that'd be easy - stick commercials suggesting that if you wanted to have seen this game live, rather than downloaded afterwards, you should push your cable provider to get NFL Network) that adds even more punch to it as well.

The best analogy here is FieldPass. The NFL controls internet radio distribution - only the NFL is allowed to do internet radio broadcasts of NFL games, and they do it for all games. The real radio broadcasts still happen, but those content providers have no real leverage against the NFL, because the games get to the public no matter what.

Basically I can't see an argument against having an internet broadcast of NFL Network. GlennW's right: most people wouldn't want to screw around to get an Internet broadcast to work. Which gives them even more incentive to yell at the cable companies. Otherwise it's just a game you kinda hear about, but can't see.

And I really need to email them about the problem with using quotation marks... :)

76
by Russell Levine :: Tue, 03/28/2006 - 2:03am

It will be interesting to see how many cable systems sign carriage deals with NFL Network between now and the first game broadcast. My guess is all of the major carriers that don't offer it now will by that date.

77
by DGL (not verified) :: Tue, 03/28/2006 - 12:29pm

In my day, you watched the NFL on a tiny black and white TV with only 13 channels and only 4 of those ever worked...

In my day, you watched the NFL on the radio. Jack Fleming and Myron Cope on WTAE, 1250 AM...

78
by Mikey (not verified) :: Tue, 03/28/2006 - 12:38pm

Couple things if anybody's still reading this thread:

The Saturday afternoon games on Fox and CBS in December are going away.

The Monday Week 1 Doubleheader exists because ESPN has the right to 17 games and there is no Week 17 Monday nighter so they have to find an exposure somewhere. I don't think it's a great solution either but I can't really come up with a better idea.

The NFL net games will be shown on over the air stations in the home markets.

79
by Green Bay for Life (not verified) :: Tue, 03/28/2006 - 1:49pm

Yea but I still like the idea of a Season DVD set for your favotie team. and here is where the NFL could have local markets help out. Season 2006 part I would have the first eight games, but say if you make it 75 dollars and then NFL gets $50 in proceeds and then split the other $25 in procedes amongst the local networks that help produce the DVD. Heck I would pay $75 dollars a DVD set for eight games of my packers that I could review and watch over and over again. And it would also help out Fan Sites like this that are desperately looking for particular games in the season.

80
by PATRIOTS at montreal, CANADA (not verified) :: Tue, 03/28/2006 - 7:43pm

i would like to know if the monday night games on espn will transmit in canada on tsn or other channels

81
by Sam (not verified) :: Tue, 03/28/2006 - 8:12pm

The nfl is screwed with giants/colts if one of the manning brother ends up hurt before opening weekend.

82
by Jerry (not verified) :: Tue, 03/28/2006 - 8:20pm

The Saturday afternoon games on Fox and CBS in December are going away.

Mikey, thanks for the info.

I'm disappointed to see that late-season afternoon games are being replaced with night games; as I get older, the idea of sitting through cold December/January nights at the stadium becomes less and less appealing.

83
by Green Bay for Life (not verified) :: Tue, 03/28/2006 - 8:34pm

The nfl is screwed with giants/colts if one of the manning brother ends up hurt before opening weekend.

I'm jut curious though what is the +/- to Eli or Peyton whining after the game if they loose.

I'll take the Giants to win and Peyton at a +3 to whine about something that he had absolutley no contorl over.

84
by Crushinator (not verified) :: Tue, 03/28/2006 - 11:07pm

[i] Manning Bowl [/i]

Whoever wins, we lose.

85
by JRM (not verified) :: Wed, 03/29/2006 - 12:19am

There's a stadium called the Manning Bowl in Lynn, MA. If there ever should have been a game at a neutral site, this is it. ;)

We're all perfect people that

86
by Nick Hathaway (not verified) :: Wed, 03/29/2006 - 1:17am

Is anyone else pissed that the Seahawks didn't get one of the opening games on any network?

87
by Matthew Furtek (not verified) :: Wed, 03/29/2006 - 1:43am

Re: 86
Yeah, that doesn't make sense at all. I thought they were traditionally given Monday Night, at least last season Philly opened against Atlanta.

Nuts to the NFL for removing the 2003, 2004 schedules from their site!

88
by GlennW (not verified) :: Wed, 03/29/2006 - 2:01pm

> There’s a stadium called the Manning Bowl in Lynn, MA. If there ever should have been a game at a neutral site, this is it.

Recently torn down-- sorry!

89
by Green Bay for Life (not verified) :: Wed, 03/29/2006 - 5:06pm

Well they also announced the full Pre-season schedule and
only showing four of the possible 16 each week sucks. to see the full line up and which ones are going to be televised Nationally go to:

http://www.nfl.com/news/story/9344761

90
by Are-Tee (not verified) :: Wed, 03/29/2006 - 8:03pm

'The nfl is screwed with giants/colts if one of the manning brother ends up hurt before opening weekend.'

Well, if it's Eli who's hurt, they have a fall-back: the Giants play Seattle again this year - Tim vs. Matt in the Hasselbeck Bowl.