Sources: NBC Has Best Shot Of Landing New Thursday Night NFL Package
While the winning bid for the NFL's new Thursday night package -- which could be announced this week -- is "effectively sealed," NBC has "the best shot at landing the single-season showcase," according to sources cited by Anthony Crupi of ADWEEK. NBC "likely has the upper hand in the silent auction, given its oft-demonstrated willingness to outbid rivals for high-profile sports rights and a pressing need to repair the sucking chest wound that is its Thursday night programming lineup." A second night of NFL games for NBC "would go a long way toward alleviating the pressure" on the net's low-rated Thursday comedy lineup. While NFL Network’s "Thursday Night Football" is the league’s "lowest-rated package," the audience it delivered this season "would be nothing short of a godsend for NBC." Sources said that the NFL was "hoping to scare up" between $750-800M for the package, although "plans to simulcast a number of the games on NFL Net are likely to drive the price down" (ADWEEK.com, 1/26).
CRAZY TRAIN: In N.Y., Bob Raissman reported Giants Senior VP/Communications Pat Hanlon "will provide analysis during the NFL Network’s coverage of Media Day" tomorrow. His appearance will be the second consecutive year the net has brought in a club PR exec "to bring a different perspective" after Cowboys VP/PR & Communications Rich Dalrymple appeared in '13. Hanlon said, "What the NFL Network is looking to find out from me is how you manage what appears to be the unmanageable." He added, "I’m apprehensive but I’m looking forward to it. But I don’t want the conclusion of the broadcast to be me getting a text from John Mara or Steve Tisch wishing me luck in my new career" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 1/26).
TIGHT END SHUFFLE? In Denver, Dusty Saunders reports retiring Falcons TE Tony Gonzalez "may join" CBS' "The NFL Today," "possibly as a replacement for Shannon Sharpe." A CBS spokesperson "offered 'no comment' when asked about Sharpe's future" (DENVER POST, 1/27).