Versus To Target Sunday Night Football?

Now that the NFL and Comcast have settled their differences and laid the foundation for a long-term relationship, one of the networks owned by Comcast could be making a play for a chunk of the league’s broadcast package.
Scott Pierce of the Deseret News recently reported that Versus might target the Sunday night slate of games that currently airs on NBC.
Pierce doesn’t cite any specific source, named or unnamed, for the report.  Instead, he says only that there’s “some talk” that Versus might make a play.
The current NBC deal expires after the 2011 season.  Earlier this week, the NFL announced extensions with CBS and FOX, from 2011 through 2013.
Superficially, it makes sense to speculate that the Sunday night package might be in play for 2012.  But the reality could be that the NFL and NBC saw no need to include the NBC package within the FOX/CBS/Comcast discussions.
New deals became necessary with FOX and CBS in order to permit cable companies to carry the Red Zone Channel, which will feature live look-ins at every Sunday afternoon game.
Though the broadcast contracts could be reshuffled a bit as of 2014, our guess is that the NBC deal eventually will be extended to match the other arrangements.
And here’s one final point to consider:  Versus has a broadcast deal with the UFL, which debuts this fall.  Depending on the NFL’s attitude toward the upstart league, the NFL might not want to give credibility to the network that televises the UFL’s games, since that would then give added credibility to the UFL.

18 responses to “Versus To Target Sunday Night Football?

  1. Interesting. Does that mean that no one will pay attention to Sunday Night Football, like the NHL?

  2. So, if this were to happen, surely they wouldn’t keep the two showcase games on “four letter” (and now “six letter”) networks, would they? Maybe move MNF back where it belongs? I mean I doubt it would move back to ABC, but NBC would be good enough for me.
    Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love what NBC has done to SNF to try and make it the marquee game of the week, but man do I miss old school MNF. I don’t care who they put in the booth at ESPN, it will never be the same.

  3. Well…NBC would have to basically say “**** the NFL…”
    And…ABC for that matter.
    Versus just doesn’t have enough in the coffers to compete with the major networks. And, I don’t know the exact numbers, but I can’t imagine the NFL will want to lose the reach of the major network to go to a “little” station like Versus.
    I just don’t see it at all unless I’m missing something big.

  4. Versus made noise about going after the MNF package, and didn’t. The shareholders approved Comcast’s restraint.
    Lather. Rinse. Repeat in this situation.

  5. Here’s why the NFL will not move games to Versus: what in the holy hell is Versus?

  6. OLN – Or as the “Bicycle Network” as Kornheiser calls it.
    NFL would just be another big league sport for the Tour de France and Pamplona Running of the Bulls network!

  7. Florio,
    Committed a logical fallacy it is called the undistributed middle fallacy. He is how it works.
    Elephants have big ears (NFL broadcasts on Versus)
    Socrates has big ears (Versus broadcasts the UFL)
    Socrates is an elephant (NFL endorses the UFL)

  8. People don’t pay attention to the NHL because it’s a terrible regional boring game no one cares about…despite NHL fans trying to blame versus for it. There’s a reason no network, not even ESPN who loves them some poker and other terrible meaningless sports want any part of it. The NHL is lucky their product even dirties the american airways…should stay in canada where it belongs.

  9. I sure hope this happens. Versus has wonderful coverage of IRL and NHL live sports – they would do a ton better covering the NFL than that crap on NBC with Strahan, Collinsworth, the fat Peter King, etc., etc.

  10. “Trey says:
    May 22nd, 2009 at 6:36 pm
    Florio,
    Committed a logical fallacy it is called the undistributed middle fallacy. He is how it works.
    Elephants have big ears (NFL broadcasts on Versus)
    Socrates has big ears (Versus broadcasts the UFL)
    Socrates is an elephant (NFL endorses the UFL) ”
    That’s actually not what Florio wrote at all. If Versus broadcasts the NFL, then Versus as a cable network is immediately credible and much of its programming gains credibility. It’s an obvious point.
    You might want to master reading comprehension before you try to tackle logic.

  11. I knew that it wouldn’t take long for people to bash the NHL on here. Sheep.

  12. It’s a game of money, and whoever bids the most money will get the rights. I don’t even know how many households receive the Verses Network but if Verses wants to legitimately compete with the big boys, the ESPNs, SNY, YES, MSG Networks, this would be an ideal way to move up the ladder.

  13. TheFoo says:
    May 22nd, 2009 at 7:36 pm
    People don’t pay attention to the NHL because it’s a terrible regional boring game no one cares about…
    Much like Baseball and the NBA

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