SBD/October 28, 2013/Media

NFL Network's Bornstein Says No Additional Thursday Night Games Will Be Added

Bornstein says NFL Network is looking at a show similar to "Hard Knocks"
NFL Network President & CEO Steve Bornstein recently defended the league's Thursday night games, but he "also said no more Thursday games would be added," according to Joe Flint of the L.A. TIMES. There has been some "speculation that the NFL would look to create additional games, including a possible opening doubleheader." But Bornstein said of the doubleheader, "That was not anything we seriously considered." He did not rule out "taking some of those games off the NFL Network to create another package to sell to a cable or broadcast outlet," as that "would create another source of TV revenue for the league." Bornstein: "We constantly think about how to reformulate our packages to maximize them." Flint reports among the ideas Bornstein is "considering for the NFL Network is an in-season version of 'Hard Knocks.'" Meanwhile, he downplayed the fact that there have been concerns over the quality of play in Thursday games and whether having teams "play on short rest is in the best interest of player safety." Bornstein said of the package, "It’s worked out pretty nicely. The fans seem to like it, our ratings are going up" (L.A. TIMES, 10/28).

NFL NETWORK WILL HAVE GAMES: REUTERS' Grover & Baker report Bornstein stressed that the NFL "intends to reserve some live games for its own NFL Network" even if the league decides to offer a package of Thursday night games. He said, "There is no way that this channel won't have live games. It's great content, and gives us an amazing platform to expand into other areas." He acknowledged that the league has "heard from potential bidders for a possible new package of games, but would not name them." He also "would not say how many games would be included in a possible package, but said the league is unlikely to allow two games to be played on a single Thursday night" (REUTERS, 10/28).

FIRST & 10: In N.Y., Miller & Sandomir take a look at NFL Network’s 10th anniversary under the header, “NFL Network’s 10-Year Gains: 13 Games and 72 Million Homes.” Bornstein said, “We were very clear that this wasn’t for the faint of heart. The great thing is that ownership never lost patience and gave us the time to make it happen” (N.Y. TIMES, 10/28).
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