For the last week now, I keep hearing people whining about how the Packers/Cowboys game won't be seen by millions of people. They follow that up with, nice job NFL Network. But is it really the NFL Network's problem?
One article I read said,
"The game wasn't on free TV, or even the basic cable tier. That's because the nations' cable companies are trying to slay the giant by saying enough is enough!Yes Steve, ESPN is bringing you top notch sports programming, but they also bring you competitive scrabble and spelling contests. Or maybe it's because ESPN has four channels for free(ESPN, ESPN 2 and ESPNNEWS and ESPN Classic) on cable/satellite, so maybe you just think they are bringing you new programs. But to say the NFL Network only brings you eight weeks of programming is obscene.
So, the stalemate will continue because the NFL Network is only offering tangible programming for eight weeks out of the year, yet they want you to pay for 52. The cable companies won't take the bait. This is not like ESPN or the Fox Sports Network. There's a reason we don't mind, or even notice paying fees for those.
Steve Schorr continued, "Because they give new things all the time."
The NFL season is 17 weeks long. Plus when you add the playoffs, Super Bowl, pre-season and draft preparation, you can easily add another 10-12 weeks of programming. So now, we are closing in on 30 weeks. Do the networks offer 30 weeks of new television shows each year? Being a DirecTv subscriber, I get the NFL Network for free, and I watch it a lot more than 8 weeks a year. So, if it isn't programming, then what is it? A battle that has been going on for the last few years between the cable companies and DirecTv and the NFL may be what is really behind this.
One of the packages I have for DirecTv is called the NFL Sunday Ticket. It allows me to watch all Sunday NFL games, either on regular channels or package channels. It runs about $200 a year and if you go HD, it will cost you an extra $100 a year. If you get the HD part, you are also able to watch the games on your computer should you not be in front of a TV. The cable companies want some of this money, but the NFL and DirecTv have an exclusive contract. So what do the cable companies do? You guessed it hopefully. They blackball the NFL Network from being included in the basic cable package. And when players or people involved in the NFL speak out against the cable companies, what do the cable companies do?
"I am frustrated that we've got literally several million fans that won't get to see that game because Time Warner won't be carrying it," [Jerry]Jones said in the locker room after the Cowboys' 34-3 victory over the New York Jets. "I'm hot about that. I hope those fans will go to AT&T satellite or go over to a competing cable company."Oh the irony of cable companies, who offered up all the your private info that the government wanted, now putting out cease-and-deist letters. So you can blame the NFL Network or DirecTv, but it is the cable companies that kept millions of viewers from missing last nights game. The cable companies already offer the NFL Network, they just want you to pay for it because the big bad NFL won't give them the Sunday Ticket. Grow up cable companies!
Time Warner is the primary cable provider in the Dallas area.
Jones is the outspoken chairman of the league's NFL Network committee. His comments came just three days after Comcast, the nation's largest cable company, sent a cease-and-desist letter to the NFL Network demanding the channel's representatives stop encouraging fans to leave the cable provider.