SBD/3/Sports Media

FOX, NBC SPEAK OUT AGAINST POSSIBLE NFL PLAYOFF CHANGE

     Yesterday's report that the NFL is considering discussions
about possibly changing its playoff system drew  "objections from
the two networks that carried most of the NFL's regular season
games."  NBC Sports President Dick Ebersol: "I don't think they
have to do anything.  It also comes down to television economics.
Fox paid a premium for that conference with those teams in it.  I
don't think it would be fair to change."  Vince Wladika, Fox
Sports Dir of Media Relations said Fox "has an agreement with the
NFL to broadcast the NFC.  That is what we paid for in the NFL
package.  It is a league matter, but this is what we have and
we'd like it to stay that way."  Ebersol said one type of change
from the league he would like to see is "more meaningful
rivalries," like Carolina-Jacksonville and the Jets-Giants
playing every year (Leonard Shapiro, WASHINGTON POST, 2/3). More
Ebersol: "What I'd like to change about the Super Bowl is to
eliminate the week off.  The vast majority of coaches feel that
extra week heightens the advantage of the superior team" (Rudy
Martzke, USA TODAY, 2/3).
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NBC, New York Jets, News Corp./Fox, NFL, Media

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