And so it begins: The NFL on PayPerView
Rather, it started last week, but that was Thanksgiving, cut us some slack.
But the Bengals play the Ravens tonight on the NFL Network (and by the time I'm finished with this I'm sure it will be "played". Deal).
Who cares you say? "It's on TV, sure some parts of the country don't get the NFL Network , but they'll work that out."
Oh, but it gets worse. We don't get the NFL Network here at VFLOAB. No, in our plush pad in Hyde Park, we've got our Comcast box... but no NFL Network. It's on our line up, but if we want to watch the channel we've got to drop five bucks a month. This, in a word, sucks.
But then again maybe it doesn't. This Central Michigan/Ohio match up for the Mac Championship isn't that bad of a game. And it's being played in an NFL Stadium! Honestly, we don't care all that much that we aren't watching the Ravens and the Bengals.
But we do care how this is all going down. The cable companies and the NFL Network have been battling each other for months over fees and the such. The cable providers, like Comcast and Cox, want to charge extra for the NFL Network.
In effect, the NFL is already being shown on PayPerView... just like English soccer!
What? But it's true... in order to watch most Premiership games in England, you've got to drop a few bucks just to watch the game.
Now, we're not sure how it all works, but just check out this line up and look at the number of games on PayPerView. Looks to me about half. Plus you need a dish on top of it. Do I hear DirectTV?
So is this the beginning of turning the NFL into a PayPerView league? Probably not... the TV contracts are so big right now as it is, why would anyone want to change it? And the way that the American TV industry is set up, where private TV companies fight for you to watch their TV station, sports is an effective way of promoting their channel while getting a few million males to watch their station.
But what if NewsCorp and DirectTV decide that they want all the NFL games for the dish... then what? Would the NFL be able to walk away from, say $5 billion bucks for DirectTV to broadcast all NFL games? And can you imagine how many dishes that would sell?
It's unlikely, but it's a thought.