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Monday, January 30, 2021

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It didn’t take a genious to figure out that, when the NFL came up with the NFL Network, it was setting itself up to eventually become its own broadcast partner.

The future is now, as the league gave its network an eight-game package of games to broadcast, starting next season.

That the broadcasts aren’t exclusive isn’t particularly relevent. This is basically a seeding technique. The idea is to establish the concept of the NFL Network as a source for real-time NFL game broadcasts. This should increase demand by cable and satellite subscribers for carriage, which will increase the Network’s reach. The more mainstream its broadcast arm becomes, the more leverage the NFL has when negotiating future television deals with the other networks. In fact, the negotiation round that the NFL engaged for this package — which included Comcast, Verizon, ESPN and other television outlets — resembled nothing so much as a test case for that maneuver. It’s turned out to be a successful one.

The ultimate goal is to elbow out third-party broadcast partners completely. The stakes are high: If you think the billion-dollar broadcast rights deals the NFL has been getting were impressive, imagine how much they’ll rake in when they’re selling their own advertising slots.

I wouldn’t have guessed the sports-league-as-broadcaster evolution would have accelerated this quickly. But the NFL has certainly upped the ante.

- Costa Tsiokos, Mon 01/30/2006 09:03:00 PM
Category: Football | Permalink | Feedback (2)

I happened to be channel-flipping earlier this afternoon, and came upon a showing of that Tom Hanks classic, Bachelor Party.

The strange thing: It was being shown on Women’s Entertainment Network.

There’s something so not-right about watching a movie like that, even edited for television, with that “WE” logo ever-present in the corner of the screen. And that says nothing for the amount of undermining it does to WE’s brand identity.

Incidentally, I always like to say that Bachelor Party represents Hanks’ finest work on the silver screen. I don’t mean it, of course… But I still like to say it.

- Costa Tsiokos, Mon 01/30/2006 05:57:14 PM
Category: TV, Movies | Permalink | Feedback (1)