This appears to be a big get for CBS, bringing one of television’s few sure-fire audience magnets to the most lucrative night for programming. Just about everyone – including Google — was interested in rights to the NFL games. CBS and NFL Network will simulcast eight early season games on Thursday nights; the NFL’s cable channel will air eight additional ones including two Saturday matches. The NFL and CBS didn’t announce financial terms for the deal that just runs for the 2014 season unless the NFL wants to extend it to 2015. ABC, Fox, NBC and Turner also bid for the package with initial offers that approached $300M, Sports Business Daily reports. CBS will produce all 16 of the games, and the Thursday night ones will include its lead broadcasters Jim Nantz and Phil Simms. CBS announcers will join NFL Network hosts and analysts in the pregame, halftime and postgame shows. The NFL “represents the best premium content there is,” CBS chief Les Moonves says. “I look forward to all this new deal will do for us not only on Thursday nights, but across our entire schedule.” The addition to the network’s Sunday AFC package “further strengthens our position in the sports marketplace,” CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus adds. The NFL Network has aired Thursday Night Football…
The NFL Network scheduled an interview last Friday with Silver Linings Playbook stars Bradley Cooper and Chris Tucker, as The Weinstein Company pic centers on a Philadelphia Eagles-loving family with football as a central theme. But the league-owned network pulled the segment at the last minute, saying the film’s gambling content wasn’t a proper fit (co-star Robert De Niro as Cooper’s father runs a small bookie operation that takes bets on NFL games). Harvey Weinstein cried foul (using the “c” word — censorship) and tells Reuters TV (see the full interview, which includes talk about Seal Team Six, here) that he still thinks the NFL blew the call:
The National Football League and Time Warner Cable Inc. resolved a nine-year impasse with an agreement that brings the league’s NFL Network and RedZone Channel to millions more U.S. homes. NFL and the nation’s second-largest cable system operator announced the multiyear deal late yesterday but did not disclose terms. Under a programming partnership Time Warner also made a deal for Bright House Networks to carry NFL and RedZone. Carriage begins today but the first live game TWC customers can watch will be Thursday’s matchup between the Baltimore Ravens and Cleveland Browns.
Talk about overtime. If what Bloomberg is reporting is true, the multiyear deal will end an almost 10-year struggle to get the NFL Network and its sister RedZone Channel onto Time Warner Cable and into the homes of the cabler’s 12 million subscribers. NFL Network launched in 2003 and has been showing select games since 2006, and this year it grew its schedule to 13 Thursday night games. Thanks to the dispute over how much the channels are worth, though, major cities like LA weren’t getting those games. Bloomberg says a deal could be announced later today, though it didn’t know when the channels would appear — they weren’t there last night, when NFL Network showed the NY Giants’ easy win over Carolina. It’s the second big victory for the NFL-owned network in the past month in a major market, after it inked a multiyear deal with Cablevision in August that gives the channels reach in the New York area.
Google’s prototype fiber-delivered broadband service in Kansas City has struck a deal to carry NFL Networks and the a la carte RedZone channel (every touchdown from every Sunday afternoon game). This marks the second competing provider in a Time Warner Cable market to sign with the NFL services. Cincinnati Bell signed its fiber optic system last month. TWC and Bright House Network are the only major distributors that don’t carry the NFL Network. Registration for Google Fiber in Kansas City ends September 9 with installations presumably beginning the following day, according to Multichannel.com.
Bethpage, N.Y. and New York, Aug. 16, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — NFL Network and Cablevision (NYSE: CVC), the largest TV provider in the nation’s top media market, announced today that they have reached a multi-year agreement for carriage of NFL Network and the NFL RedZone channel.
NFL Network will make its debut in Cablevision homes beginning tomorrow. NFL Network will be available on channel 150 in both standard-definition and HD for customers who subscribe to iO Preferred, iO Silver, iO Gold or the iO Sports & Entertainment Pak. NFL RedZone, which airs on Sundays throughout the regular season, will be offered in both standard-definition and HD on channel 151 as part of the iO Sports & Entertainment Pak, which is now included in the new iO Gold package, which was launched last spring.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell confirmed during his annual state-of-the league address today that the league’s NFL Network will expand its primetime Thursday Night Football from eight to 13 games next season. Earlier this year, the league planned to shop an eight-game Thursday schedule to other networks, but the lockout slowed those ambitions. The new deal means all 32 teams will be shown in primetime next season — the NFL Network’s slate begins in Week 2 and goes through Week 15. Of course, not everyone will see those five new games — the network is still not carried on major providers Time Warner Cable and Cablevision thanks to disputes over carriage fees. “We’ll continue to work with them,” Goodell said Friday in Indianapolis, the site of Sunday’s Super Bowl. “We’ll continue to try to get an agreement. The market has spoken. The NFL Network’s here and it’s going to continue to grow.”
There is no scheduling drama over President Barack Obama’s speech on jobs between the White House and the broadcast networks. The networks will all carry the speech, which, in a rare occasion, is not in primetime as it starts at 7 PM ET tomorrow. NBC was the only network that had to make a significant adjustment as it had the NFL kickoff pre-game scheduled for 7 PM, leading into the 8:30 PM season-opening game between the Saints and the Packers. The pre-game is being moved to NBC’s sibling cable channels Versus, USA, Syfy and G4 as well as the NFL Network, with NBC joining the program in progress immediately after the president’s address. Last week, the White House and House Speaker John Boehner went back-and-forth on the timing of the speech, which Obama originally planned for Wednesday but ultimately pushed to Thursday after getting pushback from Boehner.
Sports Report: NFL Thursday TV Package In Play; Dodgers Anger Ally Fox Sports; NBA Lockout Hits The Courts
The NFL is shopping an eight-game Thursday primetime TV package, with commissioner Roger Goodell having informal conversations with networks last week, according to the Sports Business Journal, which is reporting that a stake in the league’s NFL Network might be in play for the winning bidder. The talks are expected to gain momentum now that the league-imposed lockout is over. The NFL Network currently has rights to eight late-season Thursday NFL games; the new package will cover the early season. The SBJ says Turner and Comcast would be front-runners, especially since they have cut previous deals that included league-owned assets (Turner pacted with the NBA in 2007; Comcast has a similar deal with the NHL). Fox and ESPN also are expected to be interested in the package. …