Tuesday, September 21, 2021

NETWORKS GET READY FOR FOOTBALL

July 26, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

That sudden breeze you may have felt on Monday afternoon may have resulted from the collective sighs of countless broadcasting, cable, satellite and advertising workers after they received word that the four-month NFL lockout had effectively ended and that the planned regular-season games will be played on schedule. (The Hall of Fame Game, which was to have been played in August, had already been canceled.) The settlement of the dispute between the NFL owners and players was particularly welcomed by NBC execs, whose primetime programming has remained in the cellar for years and whose overall ratings for the season are lifted some 14 percent by its 16 Sunday Night Football games, each of which averaged 21.2 million viewers. That’s reason enough for the Comcast-controlled network to spend some $600 million a year to telecast those games, even though it may not recoup that expenditure in ad revenue. Television executives may have been hoping that players would eventually accept a proposal by owners to expand the season to 18 games. They did not. Currently up for grabs, however, is a package of eight Thursday-night games that have previously aired on the NFL’s own cable channel.