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Finally: More Football for the Proletariat?

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I found a very brief quote in the New York Daily News that immediately perked up my interest:

[NFL Commissioner Paul] Taglaibue said those discussions are complicated because the league is “giving very serious consideration to being part of the launch of another major sports network on cable and satellite television.” He said there also have been talks with other networks about the “Thursday night/Saturday package we’re creating.”

I don’t there’s a single thing that the NFL can do to better market itself is to offer more free games on national television. It’s always been baffling to me that the best and most anticipated regular season games of arguably the most popular televised sport in the United States are often impossible to find on TV without a satellite dish. Further, the vast majority of games are stuffed into an exciting but minute number of days: 17 Sundays in the autumn, to be exact.

The addition of a Monday night national game was an excellent innovation: more excitement, more coverage, more interest. More recently, occasional games have been shown on Thursday nights and Saturday afternoons. There’s no reason why this shouldn’t be a permanent feature on the yearly NFL schedule.

That being said, it would be sad to prevent the average fan from being able to see these games without an expensive satellite dish or cable television package.

I’m a long suffering regular dude who grew up in New York and now lives in California. I’m a lifelong New York Giants fan who doesn’t get to see very many games featuring my favorite team every year. Sure, I could go to a sports bar, but hitting the pub in sunny SoCal for a 10am kickoff just ain’t gonna crack it. Therefore, my interest in the sport wanes.

Another major problem with football-television packages falls within Sundays themselves. Often, CBS or Fox will only broadcast one game per week (as opposed to showing both an early and afternoon contest). This seems both arbitrary and silly from a fan’s perspective. Two double-headers per week, showcasing four NFL squads per week per regional market, can only help to bolster the overall and long-term strength of the sport.

Give me and others like me more choices and more games to watch, and witness the rise of ratings and revenues both, my rich and important football franchise owning betters.

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  • Super Bowl half-time update: 7 – 7. Close game!

    Why does it feel like the Eagles are holding on and the offense timid and scared?

    I think it will take a monster defensive effort for the Eagles to pull off this upset…

  • Mike – I think the big difference is that there are so many fewer overall games with regard to football as compared to all other major sports. Therefore, each game is thus enhanced in significance. So why not show more of the relatively few games that are available?

    I think it’s very reasonable to ask for a weekly Thursday, Saturday, and Monday night game on top of the Sunday package. Ass to that the point I mentioned about having double-headers on two networks for the Sunday games, and you then have a good variety and depth of games to watch every week.

    The only thing stopping this from happening is the money pouring in from the satellite television / NFL Sunday Ticket program. It’s an overall disservice to the fans, in my opinion.

  • Actually, I think the limited nature of exposure helps drive up the ratings. Sunday afternoon and Monday night becomes an event, whereas if the games were on four or five days a week, it would dilute that event status.

    Today’s Super Bowl will have huge ratings in large part because it’s a one-shot deal. One game, one champion. Compare this with the seven-game series in Major League Baseball, the NBA, and the NHL. Did you miss Game Two? No problem- the series isn’t even close to being decided yet.

    Big time football fans think they would watch seven days a week, but baseball fans have this opportunity, and really don’t cash in on it. For proof, check the ratings.

  • agreed! more football would be better football. I am sad that tomorrow is my last day of football for months. They wouldn’t run a Saturday afternoon game because of college, however I think a marquee prime time game for Saturday night would be awesome. It is easier on the fans too, because you have the next day off to relax and recover.

    How about a Friday night game? I could watch NFL all weekend, and am currently stealing cable so I can’t order anything.

    Go Broncos!