Selling More NFL For Viewers -- Or Hungry Cable/Satellite Operators?

How many ways can the NFL slice and dice another piece of its content for sale? More than we  realize.


NFL already gives us full live game via CBS, NBC, Fox, and ESPN. Full, out-of-market live game packages are available from DirecTV with its Sunday Ticket NFL package. It also added those Thursday night games and other content via its full-time football channel, The NFL Network.

But wait. That doesn't cover everything. A new live package allows viewers to "look in" on games when teams are within the 20 yard line and close to scoring: thus, the new NFL Red Zone channel.

The Red Zone Channel turns out to be a consolation prize of sorts for Comcast and Dish Network, the cable and satellite TV distributors, who were beaten out by DirecTV for the lucrative Sunday Ticket NFL Package, where TV subscribers pay up to $300 for a season worth of games.



Valuable TV content owners, such as the NFL, look for new growth every year. A couple of years ago, there was a push for the controversial NFL Network.

Cable operators complained the high per cable sub fee wasn't worth it to put it on its basic channel lineup -- not when only eight live Thursday night games were part of its programming.  For its part, the NFL says Comcast does the same thing for its sports channel Versus and Golf Channel, for example.

So we all get more sports programming. Is that so bad?  Well, I'm imagining that not all viewers like sports, live football games, or live football coverage of scores. The marketplace will work out those details, I'm guessing.

There is nothing wrong with a "clip" or "highlight' show -- which is what in essence is going on here. But where does it end?

Will we get the Blue Zone, Green Zone and other channels of color -- football action for plays that don't make it to the end zone; perhaps just a special teams channel; or how about just a kicking and fumbling network? Will the Major League Baseball channel try for a Home Run Network? With NBA go for a Three Point Shot and Dunk Channel?

In a media age of specialization, the danger for big TV sports content owners - or any content owner -- has always been "line extension." That is, how can you expand a product line without causing harm to the original product. NFL will try once more -- for now.

4 comments about "Selling More NFL For Viewers -- Or Hungry Cable/Satellite Operators?".
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  1. Aaron B. from, August 25, 2009 at 4:48 p.m.

    Does the NCAA have any dedicated network outside of their website? If not, it wouldn't surprise me if they were next to try... In any case, the NFL has always been greedy, can't be too surprised there.

  2. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited, August 25, 2009 at 4:51 p.m.

    "Men men men men, Men men men men, Men men men men" What?! Me! Boring?!

  3. Allan Caplan from Caplan Consulting, August 25, 2009 at 5:06 p.m.

    Direct TV is over $300 dollar plus another $99 if you want the games in HD...thats just rude.

  4. Stanford Crane from NewGuard Entertainment Corp, August 25, 2009 at 7:29 p.m.

    DirecTV has a similar program for college games which is equally pricey.

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