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Thread: Monday Night Football to move to ESPN?

  1. #1
    Down With It
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    Monday Night Football to move to ESPN?

    Wow...sounds like ABC has to be losing a LOT of money on the NFL contract that would make them part with their highest-rated prime time show!

    http://www.usatoday.com/sports/2005-04-18-nbc-abc_x.htm

    Note: This article seems to say that MNF will DEFINITELY move to ESPN. But tons of other articles say that it only MAY happen, but negotiations will get under way this fall. So there's no way of knowing just yet.

  2. #2
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    Looks like it's definite!

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=2040130

    NBC will take over coverage of Sunday night games so there will still be prime time coverage of the NFL on network TV.

  3. #3
    Sal-Kowabunga!
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    Now the rest of sports fans will get an idea of how easily their favorite sport can be switched to cable stations. We already know that in Cleveland because our Indians broadcasts disappeared from "free" over-the-air broadcasts several years ago. What's next? Golf (okay, it's already got it's own cable station)? NASCAR (ditto)?

  4. #4
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    Yeah, IIRC most of the Houston Rockets games used to be broadcast over the air (with the occasional blackout). Now they're all on the Fox sports cable channel! Same with the Astros. At least we can still see Texans games on our local CBS station...

  5. #5
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    I guess these sports shows are just too expensive to produce. Despite the popularity of Monday night football, ABC was losing a billion dollars a year under their contract with the NFL.

    Disney/ABC/ESPN blamed figure skating fans and the ISU for the drastic decline in the number of viewers for the Grand Prix and Worlds, after they switched to ESPN. It will be interesting to see if the viewership for Monday night football also declines by three-fourths.

    MM

  6. #6
    Gotta Have Music iluvtodd's Avatar
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    I wonder what impact this will have on ESPN & Grand Prix events. I hope that ESPN will continue to show the series on the same night each week. I guess it won't be on Monday nights now, unless they decide to show it on ESPN2? Whatever, I want consistency!

  7. #7
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    To me, a more urgent concern for the Grand Prix is to show them in a more timely fashion. Presumably ESPN is planning its fall schedule now. I do not see any possible reason why they would want to schedule their coverage of, say NHK, for December 20th, two weeks after the competition, instead of December 6th.

    I wonder if they will broadcast the Monday night football game two weeks after the game is played.

    And another thing. Given that the biggest audience for figure skating is families with young children, why put these shows on from 9 PM till 11:00 or midnight? (I note that they are moving the football game up from 9:00 to 8:40. Maybe I will be able to stay awake for the whole first half, LOL.)

    Mathman

  8. #8
    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    The networks are in the business of making money. If Monday Night football is not doing it for ABC, then it has to go. This is not difficult to understand. Any business course 101 would tell you this.

    Now ABC has a big hit with Desperate Housewives. How long will that last? It lends itself to a zillion themes.

    Joe

  9. #9
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joesitz
    The networks are in the business of making money. If Monday Night football is not doing it for ABC, then it has to go. This is not difficult to understand. Any business course 101 would tell you this.
    I would still be curious about the financial details. The reason that ABC is losing money on Monday night football is because they had to pay too much to the NFL for the rights to the games. The show itself is popular with the viewers and they take in a lot of advertising revenue.

    ESPN is the same company. So what did ESPN do? Did they tell the NFL, look, you charged ABC 1.6 billion dollars a year, but we want you to give the same deal to us for a quarter of that? So the NFL said, sure, why not?

    If the NFL is willing to sell the rights to broadcast their games to ESPN for, say, a measly $400,000,000, why won't they sell it to ABC at the same price?

    Mathman

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