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SBD/January 23, 2014/Media
Decision On NFL's Thursday Night Package Of Games Could Come Next Week
Published January 23, 2014
FOLLOW THE MONEY: In L.A., Joe Flint wrote the NFL for a decade "made getting its NFL Network up and running and fully distributed a top priority," but now that those goals "have been pretty much achieved, the league is considering some moves that could be seen as reducing the channel's value." The scenario "being floated is for the NFL to sell six to eight of the 13 games carried by the NFL Network and keep the rest on its own outlet." The idea of simulcasting the new package of games on NFL Net is "seen as an interim step toward a much bigger TV contract that could result in the NFL Network losing access to some games entirely." Ratings for the "Thursday Night Football" franchise "have not been as high as the league had hoped." The league "wants to make Thursday night football a bigger deal and thinks better games and a stronger platform will do the trick." If ratings on a broadcast net "grow dramatically from what the games have been doing on the NFL Network, the money the league could make there in an exclusive long-term deal might be worth the potential downside of taking games away from its own outlet" (L.A. TIMES, 1/22).