I readily admit I am a fan of American professional football. And as a fan I like to watch good and meaningful games between good teams. Last night the NFL Network presented the then 13-0 Colts vs. 7-6 Jaguars. The Colts remained undefeated by scoring late to edge the Jaguars 35-31 in what was supposedly a thrilling game. I wouldn’t know exactly since I could not watch it but wished I could have.
As a Cablevision subscriber the NFL Network is not available. Nor is it available to Time Warner subscribers. The two systems represent more than 17,000,000 households. Dish Network offers the NFL Network as do a few cable systems around the nation. But before you offer that my real complaint should be with my cable system I need to better understand how the NFL Network is helping its own cause by keeping most of professional football loving America in the dark. By the way tomorrow night (Saturday when there is supposedly going to be a big snowstorm in the Northeast and we football fans would love to stay in and watch the undefeated New Orleans stay undefeated) it will happen again.
Richard Sandomir of the NY Times wrote about this today as well – http://bit.ly/5juN6s.
And the NFL Network went out of its way by buying newspaper ads to market the games and tweak its foes. The ad ran yesterday in The New York Times said: “Attention Time Warner and Cablevision Customers: You May Be Denied Two Teams Chasing the Perfect Season.” The tagline added: “Two Nights. Two Undefeated Teams. One Network.”
Was this done just to piss people off? Well it worked for me. How exactly is the NFL Network making its case by rubbing our collective noses in the fact that we cannot watch these games? How would it hurt the NFL Network to arrange a deal with local affiliates around the country to simulcast the game and collect advertising revenue that way? The ratings would be huge and the exposure terrific and I would not be at all put off if during a simulcast the NFL Network promoted the idea of calling your local cable system if you are unable to get the NFL Network. Groundswell does work folks.
But no. Somehow the NFL Network had decided that denying fans the opportunity to view two would be (well one already was) great games would be a good idea.
It’s not but please feel free to make an argument that this is a good business practice. I’m all ears.