First NFL Game on Three TV Networks at Once

I found out today via Shelly Palmer that an upcoming Football game will be broadcast on three networks all at the same time: The NFL Network (which is where the game had been destined to air exclusively until now), as well as NBC and CBS. The first Super Bowl is the only case to date in NFL history where a game was simulcasted.

According to Adweek, the NFL network usually charges around $100,000 per 30 second commercial but is now selling them for $200k and more as the ads will be seen on all three networks simultaneously.

Most articles on this topic cite a demand to watch the game as the reason why the other networks are running it. No doubt, it sounds like a spectacular game; the New England Patriots hope to beat the NY Giants to become the first team in NFL history to win every single game in a regular season.

Thus, there is the need to fill the demand, yes, but couldn’t the demand be fufilled by adding just one of the major networks? Why both NBC *and* CBS? This is the part of the story that I’m most interested in. I had a hard time finding any angles on the news from this perspective.

It seems to me as though it’s a great time for NBC and CBS to get some fresh, good content. They also must shift around some shows that were already predetermined for the air time, so they get a rainy day savings out of the deal too.

Perhaps most interesting to me, especially in light of my prior post on the future of network non-exclusivity, The Globe notes “The decision has a significant ripple effect in Boston, where Channel 5 was carrying the NFL Network feed and had the exclusive broadcast rights in the city. Now, Channels 4 and 7 will also broadcast the game. Bill Fine, president and general manager of Channel 5, was hopeful the station’s broadcast exclusivity would be protected, but was preparing for the likelihood it wouldn’t happen.”

Times they are a changin.