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SBD/January 13, 2014/Media
NFL Formally Asks TV Outlets To Bid On One-Year Package Of Thursday Games
Published January 13, 2014
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STAYING AWAY FROM GOOGLE: CNBC's Andrew Ross Sorkin said the Thursday night package is "where I think the digital thing comes into play." Sorkin: "They may try to sell this package to a Google or a Netflix or somebody who wants to play in that new world" ("Squawk Box," CNBC, 1/13). However, REUTERS' Grover & Baker cited a source as saying that Google, which had "expressed interest in streaming NFL games in the past, was not asked to bid" (REUTERS, 1/12).
DOES LEAGUE PREFER NETWORK PARTNER? In N.Y., Richard Sandomir notes the league’s "preference would probably be a broadcast network like NBC, CBS or Fox, but it would also be pleased if a cable channel got the package." Each of the networks "to receive the proposal from the league reaches more television homes than NFL Network’s estimated 72 million" (N.Y. TIMES, 1/13). CBSSPORTS.com's Jason La Canfora reported that the league "is looking for roughly" $800M, and NFL Network "would like to be able to keep late regular-season games leading up to the playoffs." However, chances are that the net that "lands the deal will want those games." La Canfora: "This has always been the plan -- to use the full-season package to get higher carriage fees and get on Time Warner Cable, then sell off half the package" (CBSSPORTS.com, 1/12). The AP notes as the NFL "keeps drawing monster TV ratings, any additional games are hugely appealing to networks." While the viewership for Thursday night games "has been significantly lower than for other packages, live sports are increasingly valuable in an age of DVRs and splintered audiences -- and none more so than the NFL" (AP, 1/12).