SBJ/20080714/This Week's News

NFL cancels Rams’ preseason TV in L.A.

For the first time in more than a decade, the St. Louis Rams will not be allowed to broadcast their preseason games into the Los Angeles market that housed the team from 1946 to 1994.

The Rams have made a point
to broadcast preseason games
in their old home city.

In March, the NFL’s broadcast committee, headed by Patriots owner Robert Kraft, voted unanimously to stop teams such as the Rams from broadcasting games in faraway markets.

The Rams have broadcast preseason games in the Los Angeles market since 1995, their first season in St. Louis. But the broadcast committee decided to enforce a ruling that ensured that teams would not broadcast preseason games beyond their secondary market.

“This policy allows teams to maximize local marketing and ticket sales efforts, while also protecting the interests of other clubs and network TV partners,” said NFL spokesman Dan Masonson.

The move helps out the San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders, both of whom consider Los Angeles a “contiguous” market.

The move also helps the league’s network partners, CBS, ESPN, Fox and NBC, by removing competition in the country’s second-largest market. This year, the four networks, plus NFL Network, will telecast 13 live preseason games nationally. Six of those games will be competing against local telecasts in at least one of the NFL’s other 30 markets.

“We don’t want those games competing against each other,” Masonson said.

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