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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