Future of the NFL on TV?
This year you saw the end of the BCS Bowl games on broadcast television. In 2010 the Sugar, Fiesta, Orange and BCS Title Game will be moving to ESPN. The Rose Bowl, on ABC - ESPN's parent network, negotiates their own contract. ESPN is the "Home of College Football" and broadcasts hundreds of college games on the family of networks. With what ESPN can do and who they have, one can think that ESPN will hold on to this contract longer than FOX. Maybe even with ESPN & Barack Obama's help, there would be a playoff.
Then you have the NCAA talking about putting the tournament from broadcast to cable Who would be there? ESPN. The mother ship broadcasts championship week on the family of networks already, ESPN has the power to do it. And instead of only broadcasting one game to homes, with ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN Classic, four pod sites could all be broadcast on the air.
Now to the NFL. Right now games are broadcast on NBC, CBS, FOX, NFL and ESPN. The NFL is America's game. We can't get enough football! Check out the ratings. ESPN and NBC have the premiere contracts (Sunday & Monday Night) but ESPN can't get a Super Bowl broadcast.
The NFL Network was born and has the late season Thursday Night and Sunday Night Broadcasts, and with it being their network, and no chance of a Super Bowl Broadcast, wouldn't you think that somewhere down the line it is coming?
The one issue with the NFL Network is it's not on all cable providers and its in a lot less homes, but this maybe a calling card to get the network on all cable providers.
So when the next contract comes up, what will happen? Will companies losing money on broadcast television want to anti up even more money in the economy? NBC was just sold to Comcast, and also has a big Notre Dame contract to mess with. Other sports are creating their own channels (Golf, Speed, BIG TEN Network), and succeeding also.
I think you will see ESPN get more than just Monday Night. I think they will take both the NFC and AFC contracts. They have the best morning show with Berman, Ditka, TJ and the receivers. They have the 2 networks (ESPN/ESPN2) to broadcast AFC and NFC games. They can rope in Classic also to broadcast games. I think you'd see broadcast teams from the 2 networks move to ESPN too and build a great relationship with the NFL.
I think you will see Comcast keep NBC in the fray and continue with NBC Sunday Night Football. Michaels and Collinsworth and that broadcast team are great!
Finally the NFL Network will keep the late season Thursday games and Saturday Night games, but will also have something written into their contract to get more games later in the contract and then also a Super Bowl.
ESPN is the world wide leader in sports, they have the BCS, they will get the NCAA tourney and they will get more NFL.
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