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NFL Network May Form Partnership with ESPN (1 Viewer)

Mystery Achiever

Footballguy
ESPN cable sports network is in talks to form a partnership with the National Football League's NFL Network, according to people familiar with the situation.

Steven Bornstein, chief executive of the NFL Network and previously chairman of ESPN and president of Disney's ABC network, has been holding high-level discussions with Disney executives in recent weeks, according to several people familiar with the situation. Some team owners have been briefed on the discussions, and Disney CEO Robert Iger and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell have been involved.

A deal would bring to a face-saving end an embarrassing episode for the NFL and a bitter stand-off between the lead and four of the nation's largest cable operators, a dispute which kept live pro football games on Thursday and Saturday nights out of many American homes.

An agreement would represent a big shift in strategy for the NFL—abandoning its effort to sidestep sports broadcasters like ESPN and take some of its valuable games directly to cable subscribers, who pay lucrative monthly fees. It would also send a message to sports organizations, which have enjoyed rising television fees for years, that even the biggest and most powerful sports league in the U.S. cannot launch a new channel without the consent of big cable operators such as Comcast Corp. and Time Warner Cable Inc.

One possible scenario could be a combination of the NFL Network with the ESPN Classic network, which has relatively low ratings but wide distribution on expanded basic tiers. ESPN would likely use its market weight and its eight additional games to seek higher subscription fees than the 16 or 17 cents it currently receives for ESPN Classic, boosting rates to something closer to what the NFL network has been seeking, according to Derek Baine, a senior analyst for SNL Kagan. Under such a scenario, ESPN and the NFL could form a joint venture and share revenue, or ESPN could take an equity stake in the channel.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1213995244...s_us_whats_news

 
Last edited by a moderator:

Al Toon's Mole

Footballguy
Great.....just another thing for ESPN to turn into total garbage.

They have become the MTV of sports. I loved the NFLN for what it was....a seperate entity from all that is blowhard central.

 

OC Zed

Footballguy
Great.....just another thing for ESPN to turn into total garbage.They have become the MTV of sports. I loved the NFLN for what it was....a seperate entity from all that is blowhard central.
:mellow: Although NFLN shouldn't necessarily be praised for the way they've destroyed NFL Films either.
 

TheDirtyWord

Footballguy
While ESPN now tends to err on the bombastic, ESPN Classic is pretty much a never ending reel of sporting events that have already occurred and for the most part, the now familiar ESPN production value is left out...

What's always puzzled me about NFL Network's programming strategy is that they'll put the NFL Cheerleaders Obstacle Course Competions all over the airwaves and NFL Follies stuff from umpteen years ago, but you really don't see them putting on a lot of games and some of the Game of the Week stuff they do show...it's repetitive. The NFL Replay is good, but now they are showing full length games with the original announcing team and limiting that to one/week.

I've got to think that the library of stuff that NFL Films has recorded could fill much more on NFLN's programming slate that does now. And putting on old games...heck ESPN Classic can air the Joe Tomato Can vs Punchy McNeely fight from 1988 at the Sands - I think a good 3 point game between the Jets & Dolphins from the 80's warrants a look, no?

 

Duke1948

Footballguy
Great.....just another thing for ESPN to turn into total garbage.They have become the MTV of sports. I loved the NFLN for what it was....a seperate entity from all that is blowhard central.
this is just great another sport network where that fat ### berman can get on TV and ruin........say it ain't so, please.
 

Jason Wood

Zoo York
The NFL Network has been struggling on multiple fronts; for those of you complaining please recognize that you're not really choosing between the status quo and an ESPN partnership, but rather the potential eradication of the NFL Network and said partnership. Pretty easy choice IMHO under those circumstances.

 

NoFBinLA

Moderator
The NFL Network has been struggling on multiple fronts; for those of you complaining please recognize that you're not really choosing between the status quo and an ESPN partnership, but rather the potential eradication of the NFL Network and said partnership. Pretty easy choice IMHO under those circumstances.
True and fair enough. Perhaps the word awful should be subbed with disappointing.I think you're just hearing a valid concern. ESPN as a whole became more entertainment than news a long time ago, to a detriment I think. While NFLN still has a long way to go as a network, they still seem to work with a modicum of restraint we haven't seen over at Disney in a long time. I for one would hate to see it change - the danger in a partnership with ESPN is that at some point they (meaning Disney) will want the bottom line to change. And at that point, the NFL better have control rights or you'll see a lot more of what we don't like filter over.If you think about it though, as much as the main channel (and to a lesser extent 'the duece') are so far over the top they make a circus look restrained, ESPN News, Classic and U seem to function much more like the old ESPN we grew up watching.IMO.And like you said - better NFLNClassic than no NFLN at all.
 

Jason Wood

Zoo York
While ESPN certainly isn't what it used to be in the nostalgic days when Sportscenter was new and fresh, I think classifying it as MTV is unfair. Sportscenter actually shows SPORTS most of the time, and major sports at that. The problem with MTV is that they all but stopped showing music videos. Really apples to orange comparison.

And while I don't watch ESPN that often, I watch ESPN News religiously and that remains the best and most informative (and no nonsense) source of sports stats and highlights in the world.

Last but not least, while I certainly dig NFL Total Access; they really do take a party line and almost never address the hard issues. You just never hear them talk critically about anything that would put the league in a bad light. I'm not saying that's wrong since the station is owned by the NFL, but that's not unbiased journalism either.

And other than Total Access and the 8 games, the other "content" on the network is at best filler and at worst unwatchable.

 

BuddyKnuckles

Footballguy
Jason Wood said:
While ESPN certainly isn't what it used to be in the nostalgic days when Sportscenter was new and fresh, I think classifying it as MTV is unfair. Sportscenter actually shows SPORTS most of the time, and major sports at that. The problem with MTV is that they all but stopped showing music videos. Really apples to orange comparison.

And while I don't watch ESPN that often, I watch ESPN News religiously and that remains the best and most informative (and no nonsense) source of sports stats and highlights in the world.

Last but not least, while I certainly dig NFL Total Access; they really do take a party line and almost never address the hard issues. You just never hear them talk critically about anything that would put the league in a bad light. I'm not saying that's wrong since the station is owned by the NFL, but that's not unbiased journalism either.

And other than Total Access and the 8 games, the other "content" on the network is at best filler and at worst unwatchable.
Gotta disagree here. While i haven't watched NFLN since i turned my cable off in Feb :confused: , i do remember a segment where Eisen spoke with the head of Officiating about specific plays. I dont remember Eisen ever pulling any punches as they went over some of the most controversial plays of the year. That was a very forthright and honest segment.I'd really like to see some major TV network offer a you choose, you pay option. Meaning you pay for the channels and/or shows you want. It could be online or standard feed, but i would be willing to pay $x/month for only the channels i want. Maybe the per channel cost is higher, but the per month cost would be lower. The viewer (i.e. me) gets what they want, and the channels get more money per viewer.

 

moderated

Footballguy
BassNBrew said:
Great news! The sooner the better.
:thumbup: the vast majority of people can't get the NFL Network.If this makes it available to everyone i don't care how much ESPN butchers it, at least i'll be able to watch the games that were previously unavailable.
 

BuddyKnuckles

Footballguy
BassNBrew said:
Great news! The sooner the better.
:thumbup: the vast majority of people can't get the NFL Network.If this makes it available to everyone i don't care how much ESPN butchers it, at least i'll be able to watch the games that were previously unavailable.
:bs: ANYONE can get NFLN right now. Its called DirecTV. Live in an apt or condo where you cant get a dish? Its called slingbox.If someone wants NFLN, they can get it right now. Stop letting major corp's make decisions for you.
 

moderated

Footballguy
BassNBrew said:
Great news! The sooner the better.
:doh: the vast majority of people can't get the NFL Network.If this makes it available to everyone i don't care how much ESPN butchers it, at least i'll be able to watch the games that were previously unavailable.
:) ANYONE can get NFLN right now. Its called DirecTV. Live in an apt or condo where you cant get a dish? Its called slingbox.If someone wants NFLN, they can get it right now. Stop letting major corp's make decisions for you.
I don't want DirecTV, and obviously most people don't want to make a change for one channel since cable still destroys DTV in market share.This is a great move to bring the NFL network into more homes. I mainly want the channel to see the games, i don't really care what ESPN does to it.
 

Tyrion

Footballguy
BassNBrew said:
Great news! The sooner the better.
:thumbup: the vast majority of people can't get the NFL Network.If this makes it available to everyone i don't care how much ESPN butchers it, at least i'll be able to watch the games that were previously unavailable.
:bs: ANYONE can get NFLN right now. Its called DirecTV. Live in an apt or condo where you cant get a dish? Its called slingbox.If someone wants NFLN, they can get it right now. Stop letting major corp's make decisions for you.
I don't want DirecTV, and obviously most people don't want to make a change for one channel since cable still destroys DTV in market share.This is a great move to bring the NFL network into more homes. I mainly want the channel to see the games, i don't really care what ESPN does to it.
That's too bad. NFL Total Access beats the heck out of the other football shows.
 

Michael Fox Fan

Footballguy
BassNBrew said:
Great news! The sooner the better.
:thumbup: the vast majority of people can't get the NFL Network.If this makes it available to everyone i don't care how much ESPN butchers it, at least i'll be able to watch the games that were previously unavailable.
:bs: ANYONE can get NFLN right now. Its called DirecTV. Live in an apt or condo where you cant get a dish? Its called slingbox.If someone wants NFLN, they can get it right now. Stop letting major corp's make decisions for you.
I don't want DirecTV, and obviously most people don't want to make a change for one channel since cable still destroys DTV in market share.This is a great move to bring the NFL network into more homes. I mainly want the channel to see the games, i don't really care what ESPN does to it.
That's too bad. NFL Total Access beats the heck out of the other football shows.
Who cares about football shows? I just want to watch actual football. And I'm not getting DirectTV so that NFL Network is available to me - screw that, and screw the NFL for shafting a bunch of customers last year. They lost the PR war, and now Goodell is retreating with tail between legs.
 

Fiddles

Footballguy
Jason Wood said:
While ESPN certainly isn't what it used to be in the nostalgic days when Sportscenter was new and fresh, I think classifying it as MTV is unfair. Sportscenter actually shows SPORTS most of the time, and major sports at that. The problem with MTV is that they all but stopped showing music videos. Really apples to orange comparison.

And while I don't watch ESPN that often, I watch ESPN News religiously and that remains the best and most informative (and no nonsense) source of sports stats and highlights in the world.

Last but not least, while I certainly dig NFL Total Access; they really do take a party line and almost never address the hard issues. You just never hear them talk critically about anything that would put the league in a bad light. I'm not saying that's wrong since the station is owned by the NFL, but that's not unbiased journalism either.

And other than Total Access and the 8 games, the other "content" on the network is at best filler and at worst unwatchable.
americas game down?
 

Mystery Achiever

Footballguy
The article was expanded for publication in today's WSJ. It even made page 1, though that may not be impressive for the Weekend Edition. :cry:

Anyway.. one of the things added was the thought that "the writing may have been on the wall" since the Pats-Giants game.

"... the NFL eventually capitulated, allowing both CBS and NBC to broadcast the game. The move undercut its negotiating position, by signaling that the league could be strong-armed into opening up a sufficiently important match-up to a wider audience."

It was clearly a black eye for them, but I don't know if I agree that it ((further) hurt their negotiating position given what a unique game this was. Thoughts?

 

ravnzfan

Footballguy
Jason Wood said:
While ESPN certainly isn't what it used to be in the nostalgic days when Sportscenter was new and fresh, I think classifying it as MTV is unfair. Sportscenter actually shows SPORTS most of the time, and major sports at that. The problem with MTV is that they all but stopped showing music videos. Really apples to orange comparison.

And while I don't watch ESPN that often, I watch ESPN News religiously and that remains the best and most informative (and no nonsense) source of sports stats and highlights in the world.

Last but not least, while I certainly dig NFL Total Access; they really do take a party line and almost never address the hard issues. You just never hear them talk critically about anything that would put the league in a bad light. I'm not saying that's wrong since the station is owned by the NFL, but that's not unbiased journalism either.

And other than Total Access and the 8 games, the other "content" on the network is at best filler and at worst unwatchable.
americas game down?
and I like the fact that every preseason game is on air at least once....great way to get some live scouting in for those last minute draftsthe 10 min recaps of each weekly game in season is another favorite

much to like over the "8 games + Total Access", IMO

NFLN raised the game @ESPN, w/NFL Live frequency/content up since NFLN

competition...now not so much---hopefully what made NFLN good remains

 

Mystery Achiever

Footballguy
NFLN raised the game @ESPN, w/NFL Live frequency/content up since NFLNcompetition...now not so much---hopefully what made NFLN good remains
Interesting side effect. :thumbup:Who know if this will amount to anything. Though, perhaps the visibilty of the Journal article - which starts out calling the current situation an embarrassment -will add pressure to do something.
 

dynomitejd

Footballguy
Let me be the first to say..NFLN = MTV
Let me be the 1st to say...I watch NFLN year round, its the 1st channel i turn on when the tv comes on. I watch all the replays , total access (replays lol) and also all the games including the replays..My girl got pissed the other day because she's already seen these games and doesn't understand why i sit here and watch them again..also the hard knocks - chiefs show is pretty cool ...eve though im not a KC fan. :no:
 

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