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Sources: ABC Planning To Bid For Thursday Night NFL Package
Published January 17, 2014
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DIGITAL WATCH: CNBC's Andrew Ross Sorkin notes the Thursday package "could be the first time a digital player like a Google, YouTube or a Netflix" offers a bid. He asked NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell if they have "enough of a market in terms of addressable audience that they are a real competitor." Sorkin: "Not just in terms of dollars that they can bring the NFL, but in terms of what they can do for the presence of the league." Goodell said the league is in "active discussions" with bidders and noted, "Some of those digital opportunities we think really do have the capability of doing this now." However, he said, "What we believe is our most successful business model is being on free television to the broadest possible audience, and that's where we've made our mark. We're the only league to have all of our games on broadcast television in the local markets, and we think that's really valuable to us. We want to be available to the widest spectrum of audience and most importantly, the casual fans so they know where to get us at all times" ("Squawk Box," CNBC, 1/17).
JUST THE TIP OF THE ICEBERG? CSNBAYAREA.com's Andy Dolich said with the NFL shopping its Thursday night TV package, there ultimately could be a "five- or six-day week for NFL broadcasts, and we're pushing it to different platforms." Dolich: "The NFL needs to feed this beast, and that is the revenue that they generate each year. They couldn't be in a better position." Dolich noted the NFL wanting to sign only a one-year deal for this package "gives them the opportunity to see what happens after they get out of the starting gate" ("Yahoo SportsTalk Live," CSN Bay Area, 1/16). Goodell said, "One of the things we work very hard at is trying to give the fans more because every time we do give them more football, they say, 'Well, give me more.' But we don't want to reach that point of saturation where people say, 'It's not special anymore.' One of the things that makes the NFL so special is that every one of our events is special and unique" ("Squawk Box," CNBC, 1/17).