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NBC'S EBERSOL SAYS "NO" TO RIGHTS REFUND ON NFL COVERAGE
Published November 22, 1995
NFL moves into smaller markets have "prompted network concern," according to Jim Baker in today's BOSTON HERALD. While the AFC, and thus NBC, have been "hit the hardest," NBC Sports President Dick Ebersol said he will not seek "financial compensation from the league." Ebersol: "We're not looking for a rebate. ... This is something we'll have to work out, perhaps through more careful scheduling of our top games" (BOSTON HERALD, 11/22). SPEAK MORE EVIL? Despite all the franchise shifting and legal action in the league, the networks covering the NFL have been quiet on the issues in both pre-game shows and the games themselves, according to Milton Kent of the Baltimore SUN. Kent writes the $4.4B in total rights fees has something to do with the silence. Kent: "Frankly, the power of the league ... has effectively stifled the legitimate criticism of an NFL front office that is watching its building go up in flames." Al Michaels' commentary during halftime of Monday's ABC telecast was "all well and good, but why didn't Michaels name names, starting with that of [Commissioner Paul] Tagliabue" (Baltimore SUN, 11/22). Michaels "surprised some by speaking out against franchise moves" during halftime, according to Jim Baker. ABC plans more Michaels commentaries (BOSTON HERALD, 11/22). Michael Hiestand calls such commentary "rare" (USA TODAY, 11/22).