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Old 05-23-2017, 03:36 AM   #1
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Default Turner Sports weighing return to NFL; would face heavy competition for rights

NEW YORK Remember the "NFL on TNT"? There could be a reboot in the next few years.

Turner Sports is considering a possible bid for NFL television rights in 2022 after the league's current deals expire.

"Were always looking at the NFL. Everyone looks at the NFL. Youd have to be crazy not to look at the NFL," Will Funk, Turner's executive vice president of property marketing and corporate partnerships, told Sporting News during Turner's annual upfront presentation.

Funk, though, cautioned, "Its got to be the right fit for us, like everything else were doing.

A return to the NFL by TNT after an absence of two decades would make a lot of sense. Remember, TNT split the Sunday night package with ESPN from 1990-97.

Both Turner and ESPN must feel some envy when they see that "Sunday Night Football" has become the No. 1 prime-time show on NBC, and has been for six years running.

Turner Sports controls an array of blue-chip sports TV properties, including the NBA, Major League Baseball, NCAA March Madness and the PGA Tour. It also is in partnership with Bleacher Report. But no sports TV giant feels complete without the mighty NFL in its fall programming lineup, even if regular-season ratings slid 8 percent last season.

Just ask NBC and CBS. Both networks were desperate to return to pro football after they lost their respective NFL TV packages. NBC was so hard up, it teamed with World Wrestling Entertainment to launch the short-lived XFL in 2001.

Twenty years ago, TNT threw its top talent at its Sunday night coverage, including Verne Lundquist, Mark May and the late, great Craig Sager. Here's the great Lundquist on the mic with May and Pat Haden in 1997:

The network was also one of the first to cater to fantasy football owners by adding a player stats crawl during its halftime show.

If TNT decides it wants back in, it would have to beat out at least one of the league's current TV partners, namely CBS, Fox, NBC, ESPN and NFL Network. Those partners pay the NFL about $7 billion combined annually to broadcast its games. It's hard to imagine those partners giving up their piece without a fight.

Then again, the market is changing rapidly. ESPN pays the most of any network TV partner $1.9 billion annually for its "Monday Night Football" package, but it has been losing millions of subscribers. In response, it has laid off anchors, reporters and producers to cut costs.

The good news for ESPN: After much campaigning, it appears to have been given a much stronger "MNF" slate for 2017. Nine of the 17 games on the schedule are divisional matchups.

Winning a piece of the NFL really put ESPN on the map in 1987. My guess is that the network's president, John Skipper, will go to the mat to keep that piece. ESPN declined to comment for this story.

Forget about Fox's piece becoming available. It has the NFC package, which means it has the Cowboys, the most popular NFL TV draw. During Fox's upfront presentation, the network trotted out two Cowboys legends No. 1 game analyst Troy Aikman and "Fox NFL Sunday" analyst Jimmy Johnson to remind ad buyers of the network's Cowboys connection.

NBC and CBS like the NFL so much, they split the arguably inferior "Thursday Night Football" package to add to their Sunday packages.

There's also growing competition from the tech sector. The NFL cut a deal with Amazon Prime to take over its "TNF" package this season. Savvy sports media types have told me it's only a matter of time before Amazon and other tech giants, such as Facebook and Google/YouTube, challenge networks for live sports rights or at least partner with them, which will make negotiations that much more complicated.

If TNT wants to get back into the NFL TV game, it had better be ready to navigate that tough road.
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Old 06-02-2017, 03:36 AM   #2
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I definitely remember Sunday Night NFL on TNT, but I guess the reason the show didn't last long was simply b/c of too much Strong Competition against NBC, abc and CBS for Sunday Night Movies or probably b/c TNT wasn't a popular network @ the time or too much competition from USA Network


Please checkout this theme to Sunday Night NFL on TNT

Composed by the great Edd Kalehoff

I LOVE the theme to this

Edd Kalehoff not only did the theme to Sunday Night NFL on TNT, but also for abc Monday Night Football as well as The Price is Right w/Bob Barker, the late Dennis James, Tom Kennedy, Doug Davidson and Drew Carey, West 57th, Saturday Night w/Connie Chung, 48 Hours w/Dan Rather, History IQ, The Match Game/Hollywood Squares Hour, Trivia Trap, The NEW Card Sharks w/Bob Eubanks and the late Bill Rafferty, Concentration w/the late Jack Narz, TattleTales (The 70's Version) w/the late Bert Convy, Double Dare w/Marc Summers, Harvey and Robin Marella Russo, Finders Keepers w/Wesley Eure and Larry Toffler, Think Fast w/Michael Carrington and Skip Lackey, Make the Grade w/Lew Schneider and Robb Edward Morris and of course, Family Feud w/the late Richard Dawson returning to the Feud for the 1st time in 9 years

also, here's what someone said on YT who responded to my post:

I think you're totally right because during the 90s the Sunday movie showcases were still huge draws for the big 3 on the broadcast networks and FOX's Sunday lineup was high-rated too. A lot has changed since then as Desperate Housewives was the last real successful big-time show that drew over 20 million viewers since then and once that show died out Sunday Night Football has completely taken over the night since moving to NBC in the last 10 years. It's now the most watched primetime show of the week the last few years.

SNF has grown so much since the early days when it was getting shared between TNT and ESPN and eventually exclusively on ESPN after the 1997 season before moving to NBC in 2006. I remember back in 2004 when the new television contracts for the NFL were being done for 2006-2013 there was a huge bid for Sunday Night Football to make it bigger and better and USA was in the mix at the time but eventually NBCUniversal kept it for NBC instead since Monday Night Football was moving to cable on ESPN away from ABC. Now 29 years later SNF is so huge now than it was back in its first season back in 1987.
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