The title of this post is the title of an interesting ad that was featured in my local paper today, the Wisconsin State Journal. It is interesting how the story of the NFL Network is paralleling the story of the Big Ten Network in this area.
The ad was placed by Charter Cable, who is taking the same stance with the NFL Network as they did with the Big Ten Network. In other words, Charter is saying the same thing they always have - they want these networks that want to charge extraordinarily high rates to be on their digital sports tier, which costs extra for those who want it.
What is even more laughable about the NFL Network compared to the Big Ten Network is that they have only one program this whole year that folks in this area are interested in - one Green Bay Packer game. That equals a grand total of THREE HOURS of programming that people will tune in to this network to watch in a 365 day year. I wouldn't say that Charter is exactly getting a lot of bang for the buck on this deal. Duh.
Below is the text of the ad that appeared in the paper. It is well done by Charter and basically undresses the NFL Network, as they should. As an aside, communications received by me from the NFL are encouraging people locally to call politicians, which I think is the biggest mistake they could make.
From the Wisconsin State Journal, 11-16-07:
NFL Disappointing Packer Fans
An open letter from Charter Communications to our valued customers:
Prior to the creation of the NFL Network, sports fans had little problem watching every Packer game on local television. Now, Packer fans are left wondering "Why can't I see all the Packers games?"
The NFL will air the November 29th Packers-Cowboys on local broadcast stations in what they have identified as the "Packer home TV markets" of Green Bay and Milwaukee, but they refuse to make it available throughout the rest of the state. The NFL is withholding the game from local broadcasters outside those markets to keep the game for themselves and telecast it exclusively on the NFL Network. By not offering the game to local broadcast stations in Madison, Eau Claire, La Crosse and Wausau, the NFL is disappointing Packer fans across Wisconsin.
Charter Communications has made it very clear that we want to carry the NFL Network on our line-up. After all, we are in the programming distribution business. However, as one of the most expensive channels in the history of cable, we don't think it's fair for all of our customers to bear the high cost of this channel as the NFL is demanding.
Our goal is to ensure that all of our customers are represented fairly in our negotiations for carriage of the NFL Network. Specifically, we have proposed to carry the NFL Network on our digital sports tier so only those customers who want it will pay for it.
As a company, Charter has created a digital sports tier that accommodates our most ardent sports fans. We think the NFL Network would be right at home there.
We wanted you to know the facts. At Charter, we are football fans too.