Sunday, September 23, 2012

NFL Reaches Deal with Time Warner

On the heels of Major League Baseball resigning a deal with Fox and Turner, the National Football League could not be outdone.  Late last week the NFL reached a deal with Time Warner that will allow Time Warner to broadcast NFL Network and NFL RedZone.

With NFL Network’s growing slate of Thursday night primetime games, many of the nation’s cable carriers brought on the Network.  Time Warner had a tough time reaching a deal with the NFL, which is why it took well over a season longer to get it done.

A big element that gave the NFL some added leverage, in my eyes, was NFL RedZone.  Of course the NFL Network has the games, but RedZone is changing the way people watch football on Sundays.  With its growing popularity and unique game-changing style, more and more people want to see what it’s all about.

Now the NFL will turn it’s time toward trying to sell a package of Thursday night games.  Estimates among industry experts peg a price tag that could push over the $1 billion per year mark.  One could only speculate on which channel would want to pick up an 8 game pack, but we all do know that it will cost a pretty penny. 

In my opinion, I think it was great that the NFL and Time Warner were about to get this deal done.  The more people that are able to see the Thursday night game, the better, and it can only help to add value.  Increasing the value of the Thursday night game will be very important in shopping around the package. 

The NFL continues to prove its dominance especially in the TV market.  MLB’s deal with Fox and Turner were some of the biggest national deal that the league has done, but still it is nowhere near size of the NFL.  The NFL dominates the airwaves each and every week, and it doesn’t seem like that is changing any time soon.  Stay tuned for news on the NFL Network Thursday night game packages.

One thing that I think would be interesting is if the MLB and MLB Network developed an NFL RedZone type channel.  It would run almost every night and show the scoring plays and crucial situations just like RedZone.  Many people complain about baseball games being slow, so this could be something that gets people watching more.  Also, it would be huge for fantasy baseball lovers.  I'm sure it would be a hit.

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