NFLLatest News and Opinion
Posted Thursday 12/13/18 at 8:23PM EST
How Fox "stole the NFL and John Madden" from the Big Three networks
Source: The Ringer
It was 25 years ago this month that Fox outbid CBS for the NFL package with a $1.6 billion bid, giving the seven-year-old network a massive boost. Weeks later, Rupert Murdoch hired Madden away from CBS. The loss of the NFL left CBS in the dumps and hurt new Late Show host David Letterman's ratings. "If the rise of Fox Sports was just about money, or if the product had turned into a haunted mansion like Fox News, we could leave it at that," Bryan Curtis writes in an oral history of what he calls "The Great NFL Heist." "But (Rupert) Murdoch’s lieutenants at Fox Sports had a creative side. They thought TV football had gotten stale — 'boring as sh*t,' one of them said in an Aussie accent. 'Fox-izing' football meant the pregame show would be about laughs and relationships as much as it would be about sports. It meant the score and clock would be on the screen at all times. It meant (Joe) Buck, who was all of 25 years old, would call the first football game of his life in front of a national audience. Today, everything from Buck to the Fox Box to an unrestrained Terry Bradshaw seems normal, almost even respectable. That’s why it’s worth revisiting the nine-month period beginning in December 1993, to see how and why TV football changed forever."
Posted Wednesday 12/12/18 at 4:39PM EST
Las Vegas to host the 2020 NFL Draft for the first time
Source: NBC Sports
The NFL used to want nothing to do with Las Vegas and gambling. But in 2020, the Oakland Raiders will officially become the Las Vegas Raiders and the NFL will host its first draft from Sin City.
Posted Monday 12/10/18 at 8:46AM EST
CBS airs nude art during New England Patriots-Miami Dolphins game
Source: The Big Lead
Coverage of Sunday's game featured full-frontal art work from an art fair in Miami.
Posted Friday 11/30/18 at 1:25PM EST
Thursday Night Football hits an all-time high with Dallas Cowboys' upset of the New Orleans Saints
The Cowboys beating the Saints, considered the NFL's best team, marked the highest-rated Thursday Night Football broadcast on Fox and any network ever. NFL says 22.4 million watched across Fox, NFL Network, Fox Deportes and Amazon. ALSO: Will & Grace falls to an all-time demo low.
Posted Thursday 11/29/18 at 7:15PM EST
Monday Night Football is too obsessed with itself and its former glory
Monday Night Football was a groundbreaking sports broadcast in the 1970s, thanks to Howard Cosell. But nowadays, ESPN is too busy living in Monday Night Football's glorious past, trying to turn the franchise into an event with needless innovations and halftime concerts -- like The Chainsmokers during last week's Rams-Chiefs game. "All of those efforts to recapture MNF’s magic failed, but that hasn’t stopped ESPN from continuously trying to doctor up ways to make the game as much of an EVENT as it was back in the 1970s. This is a show imprisoned by its own history," says Drew Magary. "They still have pictures of Cosell adorning the MNF production trucks. They still use the theme. They dragged Hank out of racist mothballs to sing his stupid f*cking song from the ’80s salad days. They still use ancient clips of Cosell slurring “He could go all the way” and 'What a game this turned out to be' and all that nonsense. They refer to Monday records as if they are hallowed... None of that has stopped ESPN from still trying desperately to make Monday Night Football a thing. In the process, they’ve in fact cheapened the product."
Posted Monday 11/26/18 at 11:25PM EST
Did The Good Place curse the Jacksonville Jaguars?
"Fun fact: Since the judge on The Good Place declared 'The Jacksonville Jaguars are good now,' the Jags have gone 0-7," tweeted The Ringer's Andrew Gruttadaro. Things have gotten so bad that the Jaguars on Monday benched QB Blake Bortles, who has been name-dropped many times on the NBC comedy. ESPN's Mina Kimes responded to Gruttadaro's tweet, urging creator Michael Schur to "undo this hex." Schur responded: "I don't control this strand of multiverse spacetime any more than Blake Bortles does."
Posted Monday 11/26/18 at 3:10PM EST
ABC to broadcast all three days of the NFL Draft as Fox drops out
Source: SportsBusiness Daily
ABC is joining sister network ESPN in covering the NFL Draft. While the ESPN broadcast will focus on the NFL aspect of the draft, ABC will revolve around college football with the ESPN College GameDay crew of Rece Davis, Lee Corso, Kirk Herbstreit and Desmond Howard. Earlier this year, Fox and ABC became the first two broadcast networks to show the NFL Draft, with Fox showing the first two days and ABC airing the final day. According to Sports Business Daily, "ABC will focus on the personalities and backstories of the draft picks, incorporating live musical acts into its coverage. Meanwhile, ESPN and NFL Network’s coverage will be more football-centric."
Posted Tuesday 11/20/18 at 1:24PM EST
Monday Night Football's historic game gets monster ratings, topping all primetime shows
The Kansas City Chiefs vs. Los Angeles Rams game, which was originally scheduled to be played in Mexico City, was moved to L.A. due to unsafe field conditions. That gave the Rams the chance to honor the victims of the recent Thousand Oaks shooting, which happened four miles from the team's practice facility, and the first responders from the Southern California wildfires. The crazy 54-51 game, the first in NFL history in which both teams topped 50 points, wreaked havoc on the networks' primetime schedules. ALSO: ESPN exposed for pretending a Mexico City Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant was "Alboa Bar."
Posted Sunday 11/18/18 at 4:37AM EST
Infamous "Heidi Game" that changed sports TV turns 50
The New York Jets were leading the Oakland Raiders 32-29 with about a minute to play on Nov. 17, 1968 when NBC opted to switch to that night's prescheduled airing of the movie Heidi at 7 p.m. ET because the game ran over its three-hour timeslot. That left many fans in the New York furious, especially since the Raiders scored two touchdowns, winning the game 43-32. The game was played in the waning American Football League, which would merge with the NFL in 1970. The Heidi Game led to future NFL contracts requiring networks to show games to their completion in the road team's market. Other professional sports also added similar language. ALSO: ABC's Chicago affiliate spent the Heidi Bowl anniversary not showing ABC's Saturday Night Football game.
Posted Friday 11/16/18 at 2:33PM EST
CBS gives Stephen Colbert a post-Super Bowl slot, sets Magnum P.I. and James Corden for after the AFC Championship game
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
The Late Show will air at 11:35 following Super Bowl XLVIII on Feb. 3 and the premiere of the Corden-hosted reality competition The World's Best. This is the second time Colbert is getting a post-Super Bowl showcase after hosting following the 2016 big game. CBS also announced Magnum P.I. will get a special airing after the AFC Championship game on Jan. 20, followed by The Late Late Show later that night.
Posted Tuesday 11/13/18 at 2:46PM EST
Monday Night Football's Mexico City playing field is a mess: Will next week's game be moved to Los Angeles?
Source: Yahoo! Sports
The 9-1 Los Angeles Rams and the 9-1 Kansas City Chiefs are scheduled to meet next Monday in one of the most hotly anticipated NFL games of the season. Yet the field at Estadio Azteca is currently in terrible condition following a recent soccer game and Shakira concert, leading to concerns over player safety. The NFL may decide whether to move the game to Los Angeles, or proceed as planned in Mexico City. In the meantime, workers are installing new sod at the stadium while ESPN is reporting that several Rams and Chiefs players may refuse to play if it means risking their health. The Rams had to give up a home game to play an NFL International Series game in Mexico City as part of the agreement to allow the team to move from St. Louis to L.A. in 2016. UPDATE: NFL announces that next week's Monday Night Football game between the Rams and Chiefs will move from Mexico City to L.A. due to poor field conditions: The NFL said the field at Estadio Azteca "does not meet NFL standards for playability and consistency and will not meet those standards by next Monday."
Posted Tuesday 11/06/18 at 4:37PM EST
Sunday Night Football soars to 23.7 million viewers, the highest-rated program since the Oscars
Sunday's Tom Brady vs. Aaron Rodgers matchup is part of a positive ratings trend for Sunday Night Football, which has been up 8% this season over last year.
Posted Monday 11/05/18 at 1:37PM EST
NBC's Sunday Night Football gets huge ratings with rare Tom Brady vs. Aaron Rodgers matchup
The second and likely last meeting between the two future Hall of Fame QBs averaged 19.1 million viewers, a season high for Sunday Night Football.
Posted Tuesday 10/30/18 at 6:44AM EDT
Monday Night Football modifies Booger McFarland's "BoogMobile" after backlash
Source: The Big Lead
The mobile unit, introduced this season, caused controversy because it blocked the view of paying customers with a large-screen TV set on the back. ESPN replaced the TV screen with a clear panel for Monday's game so it would be less obtrusive.
Posted Saturday 10/27/18 at 7:21AM EDT
Joe Buck is in the midst of an exhausting six straight days: Five World Series games, one NFL game, three cities
The Fox Sports announcer is in the middle of a crazy week. On Tuesday and Wednesday, he called Games 1 and 2 of the World Series in Boston. On Thursday, he called the Thursday Night Football game between the Miami Dolphins and Houston Texans in Houston. On Friday night, he called the marathon 7-hour, 21-minute World Series Game 3 in Los Angeles, which left him running on fumes. And because the Dodgers won, he'll be calling Games 4 and 5 on Saturday and Sunday in L.A. "Joe Buck is THE BEST!!" tweeted Erin Andrews, Buck's NFL on Fox co-worker. She added that Buck's flight from Houston to Los Angeles was delayed, resulting in him not arriving L.A. until 2:30 a.m. Friday morning. When one Twitter follower tweeted to Andrews: "Cmon. He just sits there and talks." She responded: "You try it pal."