SBD/September 23, 2011/Media

NFL To Take Fresh Look At Secondary Market Television Rules

The NFL "has decided to take a 'fresh look' at their secondary market television rules and will 'likely' show the ending of close games in Los Angeles instead of sticking to league policy by cutting away from a televised game before it is finished to the show the start" of a Chargers road game, according to Arash Markazi of ESPN L.A.. A league source said Thursday that if the L.A. market "were airing a close game with the outcome still in the balance there was a 'very good chance' the local affiliate wouldn't leave the game until it was decided." Markazi noted it is the "first time the league has decided to tweak what had been a very non-negotiable rule regarding primary and secondary television markets for over 35 years." L.A. is the secondary market for the Chargers and NFL policies state "all secondary markets must carry in their entirety all road games of their local team." NFL Dir of Corporate Communications Dan Masonson said the Chargers are deemed L.A.'s "local team" and therefore a "secondary market" because "its affiliates' TV signals reach within 75 miles of the Chargers stadium." The NFL "decided to re-think its television rules after it forced local station KCBS 2 in Los Angeles to leave the final 27 seconds" of last Sunday's Raiders-Bills game (ESPNLA.com, 9/22). In California, Jim Carlisle writes under the header, "Worst Decision Over Best Finish." Carlisle: "Maybe the league's TV policy makes sense in places like Dallas or Green Bay where no game could be as important as the Cowboys' or the Packers.' But here it's ludicrous. ... The NFL's solution always involved paying more money and seldom involves common sense" (VENTURA COUNTY STAR, 9/23).

READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL? Time Warner Cable and NFL Network are still having meetings to negotiate a carriage deal that could end their eight-year impasse. Sources said a deal is not imminent, but the two sides still are talking (John Ourand, THE DAILY). In N.Y., Claire Atkinson reports TWC and NFL Network have made "substantial progress" in their carriage negotiations "and could be heading toward an agreement that will bring the football channel's full slate of eight games to the TV sets of their 12.1 million subscribers" (N.Y. POST, 9/23).

INJURY UPDATE: NFL Senior VP/PR Greg Aiello on Twitter wrote an NFL.com fantasy football ad featuring Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles being carted off the field after suffering a season ending injury "was a mistake by fantasy football marketing" and was "taken down immediately" (THE DAILY). In DC, Cindy Boren noted the ad included the text, "Injury ruined your fantasy season?" Vikings P Chris Kluwe "was appalled." He tweeted, "Great job NFL.com using a player's season ending injury to promote fantasy football" (WASHINGTONPOST.com, 9/22).

CASE OF THE MONDAYS: In N.Y., Phil Mushnick writes for "ESPN, 'The Worldwide Leader in Sports,' to have presented a worse production of a national primetime NFL game than Monday's Rams-Giants is unfathomable, maybe even impossible" (N.Y. POST, 9/23).

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