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CBS Touting Thursday Night NFL Package To Reach Ratings In Line With "SNF"
Published July 17, 2014
TOO MUCH IS NEVER ENOUGH: NBC's Al Michaels said of whether the new "TNF" package might be too much, "Right now, it's not too much. You look at the numbers. You look at the ratings. You look at the television rights." NBC's Cris Collinsworth also felt that the NFL "has not yet reached the saturation point." He said, "You can't turn on the channel now that they're not talking about the National Football League." The CP's Bill Brioux noted with "interest in free agency and draft coverage," both Michaels and Collinsworth "felt the NFL was becoming a 12-month obsession for many football fans" (CP, 7/15).
CONNECT FOUR: CBS President & CEO Les Moonves said that the net will "almost certainly not be a bidder for either NBA or MLB rights because the economics don't work for them." However, he said that the four sports where they "are spending big for licensing fees" -- NFL, NCAA basketball, NCAA football and golf -- are "all profitable for his company." Moonves: "This year, we're beginning a new 10-year deal with the NFL where we're paying over $1 billion per season for sports rights, and we're still going to make a profit because the NFL is still the gold standard for live TV. There's nothing that competes with it. This year, we luckily added Thursday Night Football to that" (HOLLYWOODREPORTER.com, 7/15). McManus also said the NFL "has been a profitable franchise" for CBS. The HOLLYWOOD REPORTER's Guthrie notes the increase for the current deal "was more than" 60% to $1B through '22. McManus said, "It's a big increase. Even though we are paying more money in rights, it still makes sense because many advertisers need the NFL. They just can't afford for almost six months every year not to advertise in the most successful and attractive programming on TV." Meanwhile, asked how CBS analysts will cover the controversy over the Redskins nickname this season, McManus said, "We haven't talked to them yet. Generally speaking, we do not tell our announcers what to say or not say. Up to this point, it has not been a big issue for us" (HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, 7/25 issue).