Monday, December 31, 2007

Ad Broadcast peeve of the week: on the broadcast network simulcast of the Pats/Giants game Saturday evening, just before kickoff, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and some minor on-air "talent" for the NFL's private cable channel ran through a painfully scripted interview in which Goodell's speechwriter made a point of saying that "this [was] not the moment" to argue the NFL's case in its ongoing dispute with major cable companies.

That moment apparently arrived about five minutes later, with the first of at least three airings of a commercial in which a diner full of people spent 60 seconds bitching about how they couldn't get "NFL network" on their cable systems.

For those unaware of the dispute: "NFL network" carries eight games a year, which amount to about 24 hours a year of general-interest programming. The other 364 days a year, it reruns games that were already broadcast (and recorded by fans with an interest), and carries a bunch of other stuff of interest to only hard-core fans. For some incredibly strange reason, the cable companies haven't seen fit to pay more for this than they do for CNN --- and the NFL owners, for their part, are howling that the networks are betraying their viewers by trying to negotiate on price, and refusing to take part in such a base betrayal of trust. That's what they say --- and why wouldn't you believe them?


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