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NFL Matchup gets a four-year commitment

Not long ago, ESPN’s NFL Matchup show faced near-certain extinction.  As first reported by Michael Hiestand of USA Today, it’s coming back.

But neither the initial report nor the official announcement specified the number of years that it would still be around.

Per an industry source, NFL Matchup received a four-year commitment.

So kudos to the folks at the league office, NFL Films, and ESPN for saving one of the best football shows around.  Some think that we had a role in keeping the show around.  We disagree strongly; if we had any actual pull, the show would be shifted during football season to the time slot occupied by The Sports Reporters.

On that note, does anyone really care in the Internet age what a quartet of general-interest sportswriters thinks about niche issues that are far better understood and explained by the folks who focus on the specific sports from which each topic arises?

Hey, if we can save a show, maybe we can get one killed, too.

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34 Responses to “NFL Matchup gets a four-year commitment”
  1. MrJames says: Jun 30, 2010 11:01 PM

    Great News!
    BUT they cannot treat it as they have in the past and expect success.
    These are the changes I would like to see
    1) Put the show at 10AM on Sunday mornings OR Thursday/Friday night in prime time
    2) Make the show an hour. The half hour format always felt rushed to me. An hour lets them cover more games.
    3) The show has to be in HD, enough said. In 2010 if a show is not in HD, the network is basically telling its viewers we dont care about this program
    4) Add an ex-coach to the show. The 1st name that comes to mind is Brian Billick .

  2. subadai says: Jun 30, 2010 11:04 PM

    Outstanding idea, Florio!
    “The Sports Reporters,” aka “The Stupid-Ass-Thing-Between Jim-Rome-is-Burning-and-PTI-That-I-Dont-DVR.” has got to go.
    Heck…. a full hour of PTI would be a better use of Anthony Joseph Riali’s time.
    But NFL Matchup would be awesome there.

  3. philbirds says: Jun 30, 2010 11:11 PM

    nah, i like waiting til sunday for monday and tuesdays tennis stories

  4. acers says: Jun 30, 2010 11:12 PM

    Mike-
    Weren’t you on vacation??

  5. SaintsGuy says: Jun 30, 2010 11:14 PM

    You suck, Florio. Sports Reporters is the best sports related show around. Real reporters with tons of experience giving thoughtful opinions about key stories of the week.

  6. monet99 says: Jun 30, 2010 11:15 PM

    Just get rid of NFL live it is awful.

  7. Dr Hannibal Lector says: Jun 30, 2010 11:26 PM

    Because the general interest writers make an effort and research and understanding.
    Unlike the gaggle of former player dopey “analysts” on the NFL network.

  8. ctw500 says: Jun 30, 2010 11:35 PM

    @Subadai – the show you are referring to is “Around the Horn”. “Sports Reporters” is a different show that airs on Sunday mornings.
    Agree with Florio too that they should cancel that show – it’s one of the few studio shows on ESPN that really isn’t good TV…

  9. Setobakura says: Jun 30, 2010 11:39 PM

    DO NOT cancel Sports Reporters

  10. stiller43 says: Jul 1, 2010 12:26 AM

    Sports Reporters SUCKS
    Matchup is sweet. Always tivo it and watch it when I wake up Sunday before all the pregame shows.

  11. VegasRandy says: Jul 1, 2010 12:28 AM

    SaintsGuy says:
    June 30, 2010 11:14 PM
    You suck, Florio. Sports Reporters is the best sports related show around. Real reporters with tons of experience giving thoughtful opinions about key stories of the week.
    You’re in the weeds with your journalism worship.
    This is journalism-An event occurs then a journalist comes in and back fits an explanation to matches the all ready known conclusion. It gives the appearance of knowledge when non exists.
    Journalist are cartoonish figures that are full of a false sense of self importance. And you would know this if you had any knowledge yourself.

  12. Section731 says: Jul 1, 2010 12:34 AM

    I agree completely – Match up is a great show. Love watching Jaws break it down. Sports reporters needs the early time slot. It is like watching Meet the Press with sports reporters. It is brutally slow and boring. I flip right the NFL network for that 1/2 hour. Often times I don’t come back to ESPN until noon – to see the Mayne Event – how about giving that segment some props.

  13. Dont Taze Me Bro says: Jul 1, 2010 12:40 AM

    With ESPN’s NFL programming becoming more and more about features and storyline than the actual games, shows like Matchup are needed.
    NFL Network has a show called Playbook which is similar. It’s an hour and they do a seperate show for NFC and AFC games. Billick does a good job on that show.
    What’s curious is why neither NFLN of ESPN have a really good fantasy football show. It’s a billion dollar industry, damn near every NFL fans plays at least some sort of fantasy game, and still they limit fantasy to short segments.
    When they actually do talk fantasy, they will tell you a gem like “you should start Adrian Peterson this week.” Thanks for the tip. Should i also plug in my TV before i turn it on?
    Fantasy football isn’t about superstars, it’s about deciding between starting guys like Johnny Knox or Jerricho Cotchery. To make those calls you need in depth shows like Matchup and Playbook.

  14. Jamarcus says: Jul 1, 2010 12:45 AM

    Yes Florio!
    Sports Reports is as entertaining as CSPAN.

  15. Occam says: Jul 1, 2010 1:17 AM

    “SaintsGuy says:
    You suck, Florio. Sports Reporters is the best sports related show around. Real reporters with tons of experience giving thoughtful opinions about key stories of the week.”
    And you wonder why Florio doesn’t like it! ;)

  16. JackDiesel says: Jul 1, 2010 1:29 AM

    I’ve learnt to avoid ESPN and NFLN, whenever I watch those guys I seriously question if they know what they are talking about.
    If I want news about my team I only pay attention to beat writers or team related forums.
    If I want more league based news and informed opinions I look towards NFP.
    And if I want gossipy articles PFT is the place for that. This site is like the National Enquirer for football.

  17. Ben Bernanke says: Jul 1, 2010 2:57 AM

    I’ve hated the sports reporters since I was like 10. All they do is complain. Worst show in television.

  18. Bengals Season Ticket Chump says: Jul 1, 2010 6:34 AM

    The Sports Reporters is a perfect time to go run that Sunday morning errand…like getting a tooth pulled without novocaine….

  19. NYMets says: Jul 1, 2010 6:42 AM

    How about some Dolphins stories so the Miami peckers can come crawling out of the woodwork and entertain us with grandiose boasts and delusions of grandeur.

  20. Old Manny of the Mountains says: Jul 1, 2010 7:18 AM

    How dare you trash The Sports Reporters! I love that show. But I agree that NFL Matchup should have a better time slot. How about right after The Sports Reporters at 10am?

  21. Bun McSticky says: Jul 1, 2010 7:53 AM

    Sports Reporters should have been canned years ago.

  22. Bob says: Jul 1, 2010 8:16 AM

    “On that note, does anyone really care in the Internet age what a quartet of general-interest sportswriters thinks about niche issues that are far better understood and explained by the folks who focus on the specific sports from which each topic arises?”

    No, especially when said quartet is 95 percent of the time an East Coast foursome. Sports Reporters should be retired ASAP.

  23. sacdaddy says: Jul 1, 2010 8:20 AM

    God I hope Hodge didn’t get any part of this 4 yr contract

  24. jmac says: Jul 1, 2010 8:49 AM

    Sports Reporters was great when it was hosted by Dick Schaap. Now not so much.

  25. The Real Shuxion says: Jul 1, 2010 9:15 AM

    The greatest moment in Sports Reporters history was the following:
    Stephen A Smith: “The Jets should have attempted a field goal on third down so if they missed, they could try again on 4th.”
    They friggen suck, Mike Lupica sucks. It is a microcosm of ESPN, they talk 90% NBA and 10% every other sport combined.

  26. tv says: Jul 1, 2010 9:38 AM

    The SRs blows. It is obvious that NONE of the people involved have ever played a sport in their life. They are the geeks that hung on the coattails of athletes in high school. As such, they don’t have a clue about anything pertaining to the actualities of sports.

  27. va4favre says: Jul 1, 2010 9:54 AM

    I use to watch NFL Matchup, but now I might not since Aaron Rodgers said that Jaws knows nothing about football. He used to be my favorite on the show. I was never fond of Sal Pal, since his book said that Favre is one of the most overrated players in the NFL. I guess he wrote the book before last season?
    I stopped watching the Sports Reporters when Mike Lupica said that Favre arranged for his shoulder injury while with the Jets so that he could sign with the Vikings. Obviously, I am a Favre homer, but I don’t think he is God. All superstars have their warts, but I do believe that fair is fair, and that talent should be recognized.
    I wish Favre would be less candid and more decisive, but he is sure fun to watch play.

  28. Opie says: Jul 1, 2010 10:39 AM

    I don’t always agree w/Florio, but when I do…. I need to chase it with a Dos Equis!
    Sports Reporters, Rome is Burning & Around the Horn need to be shifted to ESPN, the Ocho!
    Now that I think about it, how ’bout a battle in the Octagon between Florio and Rome?!? Florio could throw his dome covering @ Rome as Rome tried to “rack ‘em!”
    Florio might have to come down in weight class for the bout, though as Rome is a “wee people…”

  29. finsbooyah says: Jul 1, 2010 10:44 AM

    When I was a kid I would use the half hour that the Sports Reporters was on to finish my homework. That show is just as terrible now as it was then

  30. CKL says: Jul 1, 2010 11:11 AM

    Why not put it on right before Sunday Countdown? Right now it is on at like 7 am and Countdown starts at 11 am (EST). Actually IMO if they really want to pimp it (Matchup) they could even leave a segment of Matchup and do it ON Sunday Countdown and cross promote them both. During “Matchup” they could say “stay tuned for an additional game breakdown during Sunday Countdown” etc. Then during the appearance of that segment on Sunday Countdown, they could promote “Matchup” and generate more interest for it. Along with eliminating one of Sunday Countdown lame segments where they all shout at each other for no reason and replacing it with an actual interesting segment .

  31. FrankoBollo says: Jul 1, 2010 11:23 AM

    Awesome news! Best show on ESPN.
    Now maybe they can move it out of the crypt-keeper time slot and into a more reasonable viewing hour.

  32. DonRSD says: Jul 1, 2010 11:55 AM

    nfl matchup should be an hour long and come on from 9-10am.
    i do like watching sportscnter right before nfl countdown.
    but sports reporters & outside the lins on sunday morning = a waste of time……ill watch nfl network or my dvr of nfl matchup

  33. spamsammich says: Jul 1, 2010 12:09 PM

    Sports Reporters defines the word “bloviate”.

  34. whatthef? says: Jul 1, 2010 6:29 PM

    Just as long as Trey Wingo doesn’t host it.

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