NFL Network to Form Partnership with ESPN? (1 Viewer)

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Madison Hawk

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May 14, 2007
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Walt Disney Co.'s ESPN cable sports network is in talks to form a partnership with the National Football League's NFL Network, according to people familiar with the situation.

Steven Bornstein, chief executive of the NFL Network and previously chairman of ESPN and president of Disney's ABC network, has been holding high-level discussions with Disney executives in recent weeks, according to several people familiar with the situation. Some team owners have been briefed on the discussions, and Disney CEO Robert Iger and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell have been involved.

A deal would bring to a face-saving end an embarrassing episode for the NFL and a bitter stand-off between the lead and four of the nation's largest cable operators, a dispute which kept live pro football games on Thursday and Saturday nights out of many American homes.

An agreement would represent a big shift in strategy for the NFL—abandoning its effort to sidestep sports broadcasters like ESPN and take some of its valuable games directly to cable subscribers, who pay lucrative monthly fees. It would also send a message to sports organizations, which have enjoyed rising television fees for years, that even the biggest and most powerful sports league in the U.S. cannot launch a new channel without the consent of big cable operators such as Comcast Corp. and Time Warner Cable Inc.

One possible scenario could be a combination of the NFL Network with the ESPN Classic network, which has relatively low ratings but wide distribution on expanded basic tiers. ESPN would likely use its market weight and its eight additional games to seek higher subscription fees than the 16 or 17 cents it currently receives for ESPN Classic, boosting rates to something closer to what the NFL network has been seeking, according to Derek Baine, a senior analyst for SNL Kagan. Under such a scenario, ESPN and the NFL could form a joint venture and share revenue, or ESPN could take an equity stake in the channel. . .

http://online.wsj.com/article_print/SB121399524481392821.html
 
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LhasaApso

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Oct 4, 2007
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If this arrangement does come to fruition, could this be the end of ESPN Classic as a stand-alone network?
 

Jimbo

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Jul 14, 2005
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Walt Disney Co.'s ESPN cable sports network is in talks to form a partnership with the National Football League's NFL Network, according to people familiar with the situation.

Steven Bornstein, chief executive of the NFL Network and previously chairman of ESPN and president of Disney's ABC network, has been holding high-level discussions with Disney executives in recent weeks, according to several people familiar with the situation. Some team owners have been briefed on the discussions, and Disney CEO Robert Iger and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell have been involved.

A deal would bring to a face-saving end an embarrassing episode for the NFL and a bitter stand-off between the lead and four of the nation's largest cable operators, a dispute which kept live pro football games on Thursday and Saturday nights out of many American homes.

An agreement would represent a big shift in strategy for the NFL—abandoning its effort to sidestep sports broadcasters like ESPN and take some of its valuable games directly to cable subscribers, who pay lucrative monthly fees. It would also send a message to sports organizations, which have enjoyed rising television fees for years, that even the biggest and most powerful sports league in the U.S. cannot launch a new channel without the consent of big cable operators such as Comcast Corp. and Time Warner Cable Inc.

One possible scenario could be a combination of the NFL Network with the ESPN Classic network, which has relatively low ratings but wide distribution on expanded basic tiers. ESPN would likely use its market weight and its eight additional games to seek higher subscription fees than the 16 or 17 cents it currently receives for ESPN Classic, boosting rates to something closer to what the NFL network has been seeking, according to Derek Baine, a senior analyst for SNL Kagan. Under such a scenario, ESPN and the NFL could form a joint venture and share revenue, or ESPN could take an equity stake in the channel. . .

http://online.wsj.com/article_print/SB121399524481392821.html

If this arrangement does come to fruition, could this be the end of ESPN Classic as a stand-alone network?

I certianly hope that ESPN Classic is in HD by then, if this is going to happen.
It would kinda fit in with the NFL Network as it shows basically classics when live stuff isn't on anyways.

Jimbo
 

SideshowBob

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Jun 5, 2008
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If this arrangement does come to fruition, could this be the end of ESPN Classic as a stand-alone network?

Interesting. There's also been some talk about ESPN buying the English Premier League's (soccer) rights and putting them on ESPN Classic and making it into a soccer or international centric channel. There's been an increased number of soccer matches on that channel in recent times (some of the Euro Cup games, some US National team games).

I think that ESPN is probably ready to abandon the Classic model and make it ESPN3 ("the trey"?) sooner or later. The cost for classic programming is probably getting higher than its worth for them to broadcast it and the big sports leagues are holding onto a lot of their libraries anyway for broadcast on their own networks (like the NFLN) anyway.
 

hwkn

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Jul 14, 2005
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If Espn Classic and the NFL Network merge i'd imagine Espn Classic'd use the NFL Network's HD channel for their HD programming since the NFL Network aleady has an HD channel on most cable/satellite systems.
 

SandraC

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Apr 10, 2008
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If ESPN Classic goes away it be another channel ESPN turned to crap. Before ESPN bought it, it was a great network showing classic sports games. Not enough inventory, but great games nonetheless.

ESPN then 'ESPNiffied' it, and turned it into yet another channel thats's 80% drivel. Well done.


Sandra
 

SabresRule

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Apr 15, 2008
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If ESPN Classic goes away it be another channel ESPN turned to crap. Before ESPN bought it, it was a great network showing classic sports games. Not enough inventory, but great games nonetheless.

ESPN then 'ESPNiffied' it, and turned it into yet another channel thats's 80% drivel. Well done.


Sandra

One thing I remember about ESPN Classic in the old days was they always had a hockey marathon in late May.

That was the only way I could see old-school hockey.

Thank goodness for the NHL Network.
 
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Jimbo

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If ESPN Classic goes away it be another channel ESPN turned to crap. Before ESPN bought it, it was a great network showing classic sports games. Not enough inventory, but great games nonetheless.

ESPN then 'ESPNiffied' it, and turned it into yet another channel thats's 80% drivel. Well done.


Sandra

You may feel this way (and have a problem with ESPN) but without ESPN that channel would probably be non existant today.

Jimbo
 

JohnneeO

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Apr 8, 2008
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...the big sports leagues are holding onto a lot of their libraries anyway for broadcast on their own networks (like the NFLN) anyway.

One thing I remember about ESPN Classic in the old days was they always had a hockey marathon in late May.

That was the only way I could see old-school hockey.

Thank goodness for the NHL Network.

The original CSN was a pioneer. ESPN Classic is not the same network that CSN was. There are more classic sports than ever on TV but it's just not one network anymore. If you want classic tennis, NHL, NFL, NBA, College Sports, just go to appropriate specialty network. Classic MLB has been a regular part of team specific RSN's (YES, SNY, NESN, etc.) and I will be very surprised if it is not a big part of the new MLB channel in 2009. The other night there were 3 classic college football games airing simultaneously on the digital sports tier.

Plus, when you consider all of the DVD's of classic games that you can buy today, there is no reason to complain about a perceived lack of classic sports.
 

bleedblue23

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Jan 9, 2005
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The original CSN was a pioneer. ESPN Classic is not the same network that CSN was. There are more classic sports than ever on TV but it's just not one network anymore. If you want classic tennis, NHL, NFL, NBA, College Sports, just go to appropriate specialty network. Classic MLB has been a regular part of team specific RSN's (YES, SNY, NESN, etc.) and I will be very surprised if it is not a big part of the new MLB channel in 2009. The other night there were 3 classic college football games airing simultaneously on the digital sports tier.

Plus, when you consider all of the DVD's of classic games that you can buy today, there is no reason to complain about a perceived lack of classic sports.

Maybe there isn't a lack of content but all the things you mention cost extra $$$. And ESPN Classic, in its hay day, cut alot of that extra cost away by having all classic games and content in one channel.
 

Mets82

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Apr 5, 2008
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Anybody who remembers me from Dbsforums knows how I feel about this. I posted a thread on dbsforums about how ESPNClassic stinks. ESPN Classic just gave up as far as I'm concerned. They didn't want to be bothered showing programming. As far as it costing extra money, it's ESPN. I think they could afford it. Maybe if they put their money to show classic games instead of showing world series of poker then they would have classic games.
Instead of flying in everyone except Mickey Mouse for Monday Night Football, they save money and put towards ESPN Classic. I mean maybe they should've spent there money on ESPN Classic instead of buying Monday Night Football. I mean you can't even watch the games anymore. They put so many damn celebrities in the booth it's a joke.
Sorry for the ranting.
 

SabresRule

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Apr 15, 2008
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Anybody who remembers me from Dbsforums knows how I feel about this.

I was also from DBSForums- Remember me?

you can't even watch the games anymore. They put so many damn celebrities in the booth it's a joke.

You're 100% right.

BTW, couple of questions:

1. What was your username on DBSForums?

2. How long have you been a Mets fan?

3. What are your thoughts on the Willie firing and ejections in that Mariners game?

P.S. Sorry about last year's collapse. Really painful to watch.
 

LhasaApso

SatelliteGuys Family
Oct 4, 2007
118
2
Cstv

The original CSN was a pioneer. ESPN Classic is not the same network that CSN was. There are more classic sports than ever on TV but it's just not one network anymore. If you want classic tennis, NHL, NFL, NBA, College Sports, just go to appropriate specialty network. Classic MLB has been a regular part of team specific RSN's (YES, SNY, NESN, etc.) and I will be very surprised if it is not a big part of the new MLB channel in 2009. The other night there were 3 classic college football games airing simultaneously on the digital sports tier.

Plus, when you consider all of the DVD's of classic games that you can buy today, there is no reason to complain about a perceived lack of classic sports.

Some of the folks that launced the old Classic Sports Network later launced CSTV (College Sports Television), which of course was purchased by CBS. And, of course, CBS this year integrated CSTV into CBS Sports and renamed the network CBS College Sports.
 

nonrev

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Dec 2, 2007
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Looks like in the big battle between the NFL network and the cable cos the NFL network has blinked first.
 

Mets82

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Apr 5, 2008
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I was also from DBSForums- Remember me?



You're 100% right.

BTW, couple of questions:

1. What was your username on DBSForums?

2. How long have you been a Mets fan?

3. What are your thoughts on the Willie firing and ejections in that Mariners game?

P.S. Sorry about last year's collapse. Really painful to watch.

Sorry for posting so late. I couldn't remember the topic where you asked the questions above so I had to search for it. Anyway, my username was Mets82 on dbsforums. I've been a Mets fan since 86 even through all the lean years when they were bad and they were bad. I don't think Willie should've been fired. I think Willie knows how to manage and he's a winning player. He was on those Yankees teams in the late 70s when they won the Series. Maybe they didn't like Willie's style. I don't know how they collasped when literally 2 yrs. ago they almost went to the World Series.
As far as the ejections go, let them show some fire. I think that's what they need. They got to and have gotten mentally and physically tough.
It was painful to watch, we were so close. In 06, it was just as painful.
And yes, I do remember you from dbsforums as well as Sandra, and BillDel.
 

BillD1984

SatelliteGuys Master
Apr 9, 2008
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Sorry for posting so late. I couldn't remember the topic where you asked the questions above so I had to search for it. Anyway, my username was Mets82 on dbsforums. I've been a Mets fan since 86 even through all the lean years when they were bad and they were bad. I don't think Willie should've been fired. I think Willie knows how to manage and he's a winning player. He was on those Yankees teams in the late 70s when they won the Series. Maybe they didn't like Willie's style. I don't know how they collasped when literally 2 yrs. ago they almost went to the World Series.
As far as the ejections go, let them show some fire. I think that's what they need. They got to and have gotten mentally and physically tough.
It was painful to watch, we were so close. In 06, it was just as painful.
And yes, I do remember you from dbsforums as well as Sandra, and BillDel.


Hi Mets82, nice to see you again:). I agree with you about Randolph, I think he's a good baseball man. Unfortunately, he was made the scapegoat because of last year's collapse. I think a bright side for you being a Mets fan, is this year the Mets could be the comeback team in Aug/Sept.
 
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