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NFL Network — how do you play it in the TV listings?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by JBHawkEye, Nov 22, 2006.

  1. GB-Hack

    GB-Hack Active Member

    The story I read on it said that when ESPN began it was in about 43 million homes, about the same as the NFL Network has with the satellite companies and the smaller cable comps.

    I think ESPN has doubled the number of houses it's in now since then, maybe more.
  2. jay_christley

    jay_christley Member

    I wonder, with stuff like this, how much longer it's going to be useful to run full TV/Radio listings.
    Your local college programs and pro teams, sure. But with the increase of stuff like NFL Network, ESPNU, etc. -- showing key matchups that not everybody can get -- and an increasing number of people deciding DirecTV and Dish Network are a cheaper/better alternative to cable, papers are going to have decide just how much sporting events get listed.
    Where do you draw the line?
    And how much space do you devote to those non-local events -- especially when there are easier and more informative places to find such info?
  3. ondeadline

    ondeadline Well-Known Member

    We usually add a note when listing that a game is on ESPNU (saying that it's available on DirecTV or Dish Network) just because we've received a few calls when we've listed it without the note. If a few readers are calling, there are probably lots of cable subscribers stupidly going from channel to channel looking for it.

    It amazes me how many people in our industry think that we should only list games televised by services offered on cable. Look at how many dishes are popping up in neighborhoods and ask yourself if that's really a smart decision.
  4. Ben_Hecht

    Ben_Hecht Active Member

    (paid adv.)
  5. ondeadline

    ondeadline Well-Known Member

    Yeah, just like every NASCAR race or a reference to a stadium. The only difference is that this is actually telling them that it's not on cable. If you simply said that it's not available on cable, then the calls would come asking why the game is being listed.
  6. Football_Bat

    Football_Bat Well-Known Member

    We just list games on local broadcast or available cable channels in our town.

    The funny thing about satellite is that it has this nifty function called a "Search" where they can find what they are looking for. I don't have room in my paper's TV/radio listings for PPV poker on the Discovery Channel, sorry.
  7. Smokey33

    Smokey33 Member

    I'd vote on this approach. If you list stuff that's not available on cable, then where do you draw the line? If you're in Iowa do you list the Duquesne-Drexel game on Fox Sports Pittsburgh? What about horse racing at Acqueduct on MSG?

    All the regional sports networks are in the same satellite package with ESPNU, right?
  8. JBHawkEye

    JBHawkEye Well-Known Member

    Here, ESPNU is available on digital cable, as are the Fox College Sports channels if you subscribe to the digital cable sports package.

    What we've been doing with those is listing only the events involving the teams of area interest that are on those channels. When Iowa played in the Paradise Jam men's basketball tournament last weekend, the semis and finals were on FCS. I made sure to specify those games were on digital cable only. We'll do the same when Iowa has a couple of basketball games on ESPNU.
  9. ondeadline

    ondeadline Well-Known Member

    I'm not saying you have to list EVERY game that is available through dish services that isn't available to cable. But certainly you would list NFL games on NFL Network and games in which your regional teams are playing. It wouldn't be that many more to list the ESPNU games, really.
  10. micropolitan guy

    micropolitan guy Well-Known Member

    We didn't list it. If it's not on the expanded cable offering that virtually all our customers get, we don't list it.
  11. Inky_Wretch

    Inky_Wretch Well-Known Member

    There's part of me that would love to drop TV listings from the sports section completely. The food section doesn't run listings for all the cooking shows on Food Network. The op/ed pages don't have listings for the political talk radio shows. (Yes, yes, I know it's different.)

    Admittedly, we'd lose some older subscribers from it. Hell, we had six cancel subscriptions when I moved them during a redesign from page 2 to the agate page. But there are days when I'm thumbing through the section dreaming of a complete overhaul and that's one thing I consider dumping completely.
  12. OTD

    OTD Well-Known Member

    Don't do it. Some days the listings are the most useful part of the section, especially on a college football Saturday.
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