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· Legend
168 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just had another article published at TVPredictions.com
Hope you like http://www.tvpredictions.com/davis113006.htm

NFL Network Politics
By Mitchell Davis

Chances are you live in an area which Cable may not carry NFL Network HD (or Standard.) Nationally Ad's have been taken by the NFL to promote it and promote the fact that many Cable Operators won't offer it in either Standard or HD and if they do, they make people pay for an extra tier of service to receive it or as an A la Carte.

DirecTV doesn't carry the HD version 100% of the time, they only carry it for the games when they make extra HD room. Dish does have NFL Network HD. Why don't Cable Operators carry the HD network? Too Much bandwidth for only 8 games and recaps. HD space is limited on cable systems, just as it will be for a 4-5 months more on DirecTV.

Lets be clear the NFL is playing hardball by taking pressure to the customers. Cable Operators like to make their own decisions on how to offer a network, what tier to offer it in and the pricing. If any channels are added, even if the wholesale cost is say 10-12 bucks a year, cable bills go up. It shouldn't be a surprise that most operators don't add it to basic cable pack or HD pack, they have limited bandwidth and costs prohibit it.

So what's the bottom line here? The NFL ought to not broadcast games themselves and shut out their traditional broadcast partners. The NFL are greedy pigs. Not only do they give DirecTV an exclusive on the NFL Sunday Ticket Package, but they expect Cable operators to bend over for them when they create a new network. Chances are if NFL would let everyone sell the package, Cable would be more open to carrying the NFL Network (HD). Something senators even had a hearing about recently, that this package ought NOT be an exclusive to one Provider.

It would be great to get more well produced HD NFL games, but the price the NFL is asking and their exclusive contract with DirecTV, it just ain't gonna happen. For now the NFL is happy to market direct to fans saying the Cable companies are Evil. Something smells here and it isn't Cable.

· Hall Of Fame
3,474 Posts
mitchelljd said:
The NFL are greedy pigs.
As opposed to ... ? Cable companies? Satellite companies? Other media companies? Other sports leagues? Wal-Mart? Other businesses?

It is goal of a properly run business to maximize public or private shareholder value, typically by maximizing revenue and/or market share. To expect otherwise is to expect lions to subsist on grass.

The NFL is an entertainment business, and it's arm-wrestling with some other entertainment businesses. If you want to choose sides, go right ahead, but I think it's a lot like taking sides when McDonalds negotiates wholesale bun prices.

· Hall Of Fame
2,012 Posts
Now Benders, don't fight! ;)

I have to side with Michael on this though. While the NFL Network may be new, the NFL itself is very well established and has crushed the other major Sports in so far as ratings and popularity is concerned. NASCAR is the only other growth Sport. I think they're perfectly justified in trying to set their terms. If cable feels they can do without, fine. But, there's no chance I'll be going back to cable as long as they shut the NFL Network out. Matter of fact, that was one of the reasons I turned down a swap out offer from TWC last Spring.

Cable companies were livid when the NFL extended its exclusive contract with DirecTV. That's why many of them have balked at carrying NFL Network. This is the NFL's way of forcing their hand - when subscribers realize they can't watch these live Thursday and Saturday night games, some of them will switch to satellite.

· Premium Member
21,658 Posts
It's business.. pure and simple. I can't blame the NFL for trying to make more money by carrying their own games. In the short term, they lose the revenue they would have gained from these games being part of the previous package offered to networks... in the long run, they can perhaps make more money by controlling it themselves.

Only time will tell... Personally. I don't think the NFL will make as much money broadcasting themselves vs selling rights to other networks as the "bidding wars" sometimes got out of control and networks would pay more than the product was worth just to have bragging rights.

· Godfather
306 Posts
They definitely blew it this year as far as the games on NFLN. Apparently most cable companies didn't understand that the games were "must carry" events for most sports fans, so they still don't carry the channel, or I have even heard of a cable company carrying the channel, but not the games :confused:

As for the NFL, they must be doing somethign right as the other major sports have emulated every move they have made.
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