Wednesday, December 26, 2007


The public demand to see New England's bid for a perfect season was too high for DirecTV's NFL Network blimp to reach.

It looks like a little political pressure went a long way.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced this afternoon that NFL Network's coverage of Saturday night's Partiots - Giants game will be made available to everyone, via a groundbreaking simulcast on both CBS and NBC.

Why Fox, ESPN and E! were left out of the mix wasn't addressed.

Each network will be allowed to sell 18 30-second spots during the telecast and neither network will pay the NFL any additional rights fees for the game.

Politicians, especially from the Northeast states, applied pressure on the NFL, including a congressional threat to re-examine the league's anti-trust exemption.

It appears to be a win-win situation even for NFL Network as they will have the rare opportunity to promote their channel and show off their production on other companies air waves. Because of the historic nature of the game, NFL Net had planned on adding additional equipment and manpower to what was already one of the sport's biggest shows, even before the simulcast was announced. Now, the 60% of the country who don't have NFL Network can get to see the Patriots try for a perfect regular season.

Saturday night's game marks the first time a NFL game will be televised by three networks and the first time since Super Bowl I in 1967 that two networks carried the same game. CBS (NFL) and NBC (AFL) carried that game using their own production crews and on-air talent. The rival networks set up on opposite sides of the Los Angeles Coliseum, with CBS taking the traditional press box side while NBC created makeshift camera positions and a broadcast booth on the other side.

While CBS' footage of the game survives to this day, NBC's was erased before anyone realized the value it would someday have.

Those homes with NFL Network will have the chance to see 65 hours of Patriots-related programming, including a live 6 hour pre-game "NFL Total Access" show leading up to kick off.

Bryant Gumbel and Cris Collinsworth will call the action from Giants Stadium.

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