SBD/Issue 64/Sports Media

Giants-Vikings To Air Only In N.Y., Twin Cities And Nearby Markets

Giants-Vikings On Fox Will Have Limited
Distribution Due To "MNF" Exclusivity

Tonight's Giants-Vikings game will air only in the markets of N.Y., Minneapolis-St. Paul and Rochester, Mankato and Duluth, Minn. due to the fact that tonight's Ravens-Texans "MNF" telecast is "contractually protected," according to Michael Hiestand of USA TODAY. Giants-Vikings was originally scheduled for yesterday, and losing the game "was a big loss for Fox." However, Fox "got exclusive shots" from inside the Metrodome of the collapse of the stadium's roof that "Fox NFL Sunday" host Curt Menefee said looked like "something directed by James Cameron." Fox yesterday "saw what it had but didn't consider airing it before" the start of "Fox NFL Sunday." Fox Sports VP/Communications Dan Bell: "It's once-in-a-life footage, so obviously we were going to save it for our own show" (USA TODAY, 12/13). In Minneapolis, Judd Zulgad noted the NFL "added Duluth to the cities that will be able to see" Giants-Vikings. Mankato and Rochester "are considered 'secondary' markets for the Vikings." ESPN "pays big money to have one game all to itself each Monday," and Giants-Vikings "will now compete with the Baltimore-Houston game and ESPN wants to limit the viewing competition as much as possible." NFL Network "will re-air" Giants-Vikings at midnight tonight (STARTRIBUNE.com, 12/12). The game also will be available live to subscribers of DirecTV's Sunday NFL Ticket (THE DAILY).

OFFERING PROTECTION: On Long Island, Neil Best notes the NFL chose not to show Giants-Vikings "more widely" because it "understandably must protect ESPN, which pays $1.1 billion a year" for the rights to "MNF." It is "bad enough for the network that it will lose the nation's biggest TV market," so it was "not about to concede cities beyond Minneapolis and New York." Meanwhile, to "minimize the overlap," Giants-Vikings will kick off at 7:20pm ET, "more than an hour earlier than the ESPN game" (NEWSDAY, 12/13). ESPN Communications & Media Relations Dir Bill Hofheimer called the adjustment "a very rare circumstance" and said the net will "still have what we feel is a very compelling matchup." Hofheimer also expressed "concern about the people affected" by the snowstorm in the Midwest "and the Metrodome situation" (L.A. TIMES, 12/13).

DESERVING A PAT ON THE BACK: SI.com's Peter King writes the video and sound of Fox' video of the Metrodome roof collapsing is "tremendous." King: "That's the video of the year. No doubt. Just a thought for David Hill and Ed Goren: Whoever either had that idea or executed said idea deserves a little extra dough in their paycheck this week" (SI.com, 12/13).

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