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Sunday, August 29, 2004 

Spreading the News

As the NFL TV contracts get set to expire after the 2005 season, three news items have caught my attention recently. First, the NFL Network will become available on Comcast Digital Cable in September. As the NFL Network reaches more homes, it increases my fear that the NFL will try to use it as leverage against the traditional TV networks. I'm sure the NFL loves the idea of eventually leveraging Comcast's on-demand service...

Speaking of "all NFL, all the time", the Cowboys Channel will start airing on Comcast in September, and the Patriots ownership may be leaning in that direction as well. A Patriots channel might have trouble competing against NESN (Red Sox, Bruins) and Fox Sports New England (Celtics) year-round, but they could offer exclusive access to pre-season games and post-game press conferences that die-hard fans would appreciate.

And finally, there are rumors that ABC wants to cancel Monday Night Football. As I've written before, I think a more flexible prime-time package would make more sense.

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