December 12, 2003

The NFL is considering the addition of a second game on Monday night to give ABC a better chance of not getting stuck with dogs like Giants-Bucs and the upcoming Packers-Raiders thriller.

posted by rcade to football at 06:44 AM - 12 comments

so then only certain regions would be stuck with a dog matchup and would be forced to miss something good that they'd have otherwise seen on sunday. Great. I would prefer that they just left monday night wide open and stuck a game in there a few weeks in when things sort out - but the other networks would never go for that.

posted by Bernreuther at 07:37 AM on December 12

Sounds like a terrible idea to me, too. If you stick some parts of the country with second-tier broadcasters and a regional game, you'll encourage more people to tune out. On the other hand, scheduling two games and putting the lesser game on ESPN might expand the overall viewership. Perhaps they should dump the Sunday night game in favor of this.

posted by rcade at 09:00 AM on December 12

I think it's foolish to assume that two teams that aren't playoff contenders won't play a good game. If it's a situation where they're fighting to finish .500, that's a big deal to the players and coaches.

posted by rocketman at 09:34 AM on December 12

I think it's foolish to assume that two teams that aren't playoff contenders won't play a good game. You need to watch more football then. The problem isn't relative records, it's when you get two teams with decent defenses and no offense (due to mid-season injuries, etc.)-- no one is staying up to midnight to see how that turns out, which means the NFL is burning ABC/ Disney. Bob Costas talked with (Commish) Paul Taglibue about this on "Inside the NFL" last night. I would have thought Taglibue would have said "tough titty" (perhaps phrased more elegantly), given CBS and Fox have more games, but he seemed very concerned about MNF getting a good game. Not so concerned he was definitely going to make the schedule flexible though.

posted by yerfatma at 09:46 AM on December 12

I've often found defensive games to be more exciting. Maybe not due to incompetent offense, but just well-played defense. It makes a touchdown drive seem like a really big deal. I know teams endlessly punting back-and-forth to each other isn't usually what fans are looking for, but I think strong defensive play adds a lot more tension to an offensive drive, thus making for more compelling television. Of course, I haven't watched a football game on TV in about two years, so I could just be romanticizing things a bit.

posted by rocketman at 09:53 AM on December 12

i think the schedule makers should focus more on divisional matchups. the divisional games always mean something and by my quick count (could be wrong) i only counted 4 games for the entire season that are divisional matchups. the schedule makers are trying to shoot the moon with dream matchups when the most appetizing games year in and year out are the dvisional rivals.

posted by oliver_crunk at 10:00 AM on December 12

On the other hand, scheduling two games and putting the lesser game on ESPN might expand the overall viewership. Perhaps they should dump the Sunday night game in favor of this. Isn't that robbing Peter to pay Paul? And what happens if they actually luck out and get two decent games at the same time? Then you're forcing viewers to choose, or flip back and forth. I say keep things the way they and ESPN (or whatever network has the are until the current TV contract runs out. Flexibility for the Monday night (and Sunday night) broadcasts can be written into the next network pact.

posted by Motown Mike at 10:04 AM on December 12

i think the schedule makers should focus more on divisional matchups. We were just talking about that on the way to lunch: stick with rivalries. The current MNF scheduling method is like buying stocks solely on last year's performance.

posted by yerfatma at 11:48 AM on December 12

If you want more interesting games, join a fantasy league. Even the worst of matchups have potential for excitement when a player or two is on your fantasy team (or your opponents). It certainly makes MNF more interesting for me because, since it is the last game of the week, it means fantasy games are on the line. As for whether a game between the Bucaneers and the Packers is interesting, I bet it is to Buc and Pack fans. I know that personally even when my team is far from the playoffs (which it appears likely is the case this year) I still want to see them play, especially since I don't live in my team's TV viewing area. (IMHO, if someone says they are fan and don't watch their team play even when they stink, they really aren't much of a fan in the first place.) If they want to improve the ratings; however, they might start by starting the games earlier. I don't care how many times the TV execs say that they can't do that because people in LA will still be stuck on the freeway when the game starts; the last time I checked the ends of games are more exciting... or potentially are at least. Also, I agree that MNF match ups between rivals would be a good happy medium. Even when teams suck, they usually give it their all against a most-hated rival. I know this is true with the Steelers and the Browns as well as the Redskins and the Cowboys (to name a few).

posted by scully at 12:12 PM on December 12

Good idea. Open mind, more options, more choices. And I prefer to watch a Packers-Raiders match live, or anything NFL live, than taped programs, golf or fishing (with all respect to golf and fishing fans).

posted by nandop at 12:25 PM on December 12

As for whether a game between the Bucaneers and the Packers is interesting, I bet it is to Buc and Pack fans. That goes without saying, but to the rest of the nation there was no compelling reason to tune in, unless you like watching the last gasps of the Bucs' meltdown.

posted by rcade at 02:25 PM on December 12

re: Tagliabue... look at how much ABC and ESPN pay for their two games/week versus what the NFL gets from the other two networks for 13 or 14.

posted by billsaysthis at 04:25 PM on December 12

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