NFL TV is an American TV specialty channel dedicated to American football. It's O&O by the NFL (55%) & WMFL Corporation (45%) & is also shown in Canada. It was launched on November 4th 2003, only 8 months after the league's 32 team owners voted unanimously to approve it's formation. The league invested $100 million to fund the network's operations.
NFL Films produces commercials, TV programs & feature films for the NFL. It's a key supplier of NFL TV's programming, with more than 4,000 hours of footage available in their library. Thus, much of the network's highlights & recaps feature NFL Films' trademark style of slow motion game action, sounds of the game & the talk on the sidelines.
Beginning with the 2006 season, the channel began to broadcast 8 prime time regular season NFL games, currently running under the banner of Thursday Night Football. In addition to LIVE games, the network has covered the NFL Draft since 2006. It's coverage has competed with SC & SC-2.
The NFL TV logo changed to match the new NFL logo, which premiered officially @ the 2008 NFL Draft. Unlike the updated logo for the league, NFL TV's new logo saw more subtle changes such as using a darker shade of blue & changing the "NFL" lettering to match that of the new NFL logo.
NFL TV works from their studios in Culver City, California (near Los Angeles) & broadcasts their worldwide feed from Crawford Communications in Atlanta, GA
LIVE NFL gamesEdit
NFL TV televises 8 LIVE regular season games during the season. They run on either Thursday or Saturday nights, beginning Thanksgiving evening. 5 games usually air on Thursday nights & 3 on Saturday nights. These games also aired on broadcast TV in the primary media markets of the participating teams, although the home team's market broadcasts the game only if it's sold out 72 hours before game time.
In August of 2007, the network televised the Pro Football Hall of Fame Game between the Pittsburgh Steelers & the New Orleans Saints due to NBC wanting to cover, the later cancelled, preseason game in China.
The 2007 schedule began on Thanksgiving night, November 22nd, with a game between the Indianapolis Colts & the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta's Georgia Dome.
On April 15th 2008, the season schedule was released, with the Run to the Playoffs schedule modified. It will now begin the 1st Thursday in November instead of Thanksgiving & there will be no game in Week 17
NFL exhibition seasonEdit
NFL TV televises 55 NFL exhibition games each August. Some are aired LIVE, but a majority of these contests air on a tape-delayed basis, using the home team's local broadcast for the 1st half & the visitors' broadcast for the 2nd half & overtime if necessary. In 2007, 8 LIVE broadcasts were scheduled: 2 of them were produced by NFL TV using the Run to the Playoffs production crew & the other 6 used the format just mentioned
NFL TV televised the 2006 Insight Bowl between Minnesota & Texas Tech on December 29th 2006, from Tempe, Arizona. The game featured the biggest comeback in NCAA Division I-A bowl history, with Texas Tech coming back from a 38-7 3rd-quarter deficit to win 44-41 in OT. The network has made the game available for free online viewing @ it's site.
The network also broadcast the Texas Bowl in Houston, whose promotion rights are owned in part by the NFL's Houston Texans. It was played on December 28th, 2006. Rutgers defeated Kansas State, 37-10.
The network also showed a college all-star game after the season. The Under Armour Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama which was played on January 27th, 2007. NFL TV was also expected to show the Las Vegas All-American Classic in Henderson, Nevada on January 15th, but the game was canceled due to lack of sponsorship.
On April 14th 2007, the network showed the Nebraska Cornhuskers' spring football game.
The network again aired the Insight, Texas & Senior bowls in late of 2007 & early of 2008. In addition, it showed 2 games between historically black colleges & universities in the 2007 season, 1 of which was the Circle City Classic @ the RCA Dome in Indianapolis, Indiana
High school footballEdit
NFL TV aired 2 broadcasts of high school all-star games in June 2007: the Bayou Bowl between players from Texas & Louisiana on June 9th (NFL TV carried the SCSouthwest feed LIVE) & the BIG 33 Football Classic between players from Pennsylvania & Ohio on June 16th (sharing it's feed with SCPhiladelphia) & cable outlets in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania & Ohio
NFL TV has agreed to carry the 2010 season of the Arena Football League (AFL). NFL TV will carry a weekly "Friday Night Football" package. (The NFL stated that unlike when the NFL last showed interest in arena football, there will be no attempts to buy into the league)
Main article: List of programs broadcast by NFL TV
- Canada: NFL TV is also available on most major service providers in Canada, including Bell TV, Shaw Direct, Rogers Cable & Shaw Communications. Regular-season NFL broadcasts will be blacked out in Canada to protect CASN, which has purchased exclusive Canadian rights to the Thursday-Saturday package
NFL TV HDEdit
NFL TV HD is a 1080i HD simulcast of NFL TV that was launched in June of 2004.
It's available nationally on DirecTV & DISH Network & regionally on Verizon FiOS & some Comcast & COX Communications cable systems.
Shows that air in HD include NFL TV News, Around the League, NFL GameDay LIVE, LIVE Wire, Sounds of the Game, Starting 11, Thursday Night Football & Saturday Night Football, NFL Replay & pre-season games.
In mid-October of 2008, studio shows began to air in "enhanced HD" & have contained extra scores & stats on the right side of the screen that are only seen on the HD version of the channel. This is similar to the format of SCNews-HD. Other content that's only available in 4:3 SD is shown with stylized pillarboxes or for some footage, blurred edges. On May 1st 2009, NFL TV News began to air in full HD without pillarboxes or enhanced graphics. NFL GameDay LIVE began airing in HD, the following September
NFL TD ChannelEdit
The NFL TD Channel is a special gameday only channel with extended highlights, available on Sundays during the regular season, which premiered on September 13th 2009, although it was available to DirecTV subscribers as part of NFL Football Xtra prior to this date. It's hosted by Scott Hanson, who explains & describes situations in transition from game to game. So far AT&T U-Verse, Comcast, DISH Network, Verizon FiOS, Blue Ridge Communications, BendBroadband, Buckeye Cable & several smaller cable companies have picked up the new channel. The channel is available in both SD & HD
2006 free previewEdit
NFL TV offered a free preview from December 24th through December 30th, 2006 to West Texas area cable systems run by Suddenlink Communications & to New York area cable systems run by Time Warner Cable & Cablevision. The package included the Texas Bowl & Insight Bowl, but not that week's NFL game between the New York Giants & Washington Redskins, which was shown on WNY. (NFL policy dictates that games that originate nationally on a cable/satellite network be simulcast on a broadcast station in the participating teams' market)
However, Time Warner Cable & Cablevision were only interested in showing the Texas Bowl, which featured the Rutgers Scarlet Knights, who developed strong local appeal in 2006 & barely missed a berth in the BCS. The NFL denied that request & would only offer this free preview if Cablevision &/or Time Warner make the entire preview week available to customers.
Time Warner then offered to carry the free preview on a digital tier. Cablevision however, continued to refuse to carry any NFL TV programming other than the Texas Bowl. They even announced that they would put it on ch. 14 (a TV listings channel used for overflow sports from SCNew York: NYC & SCNew York: NYC-2) at 6:00 PM until the end of the network's postgame coverage. The NFL however, stated that it would not accept that request.
On December 21st however, after New Jersey legislators threatened legal action, Cablevision changed it's mind & indeed showed not only the game between Rutgers & Kansas State, but also the entire free preview schedule. Time Warner had made a similar announcement only hours earlier. Suddenlink agreed on December 22nd to carry the entire free preview for their customers in the West Texas area. The free preview did not lead to long-term carriage deals & the standoff continued between all 3 cable companies & the NFL TV
2007 Packers vs. Cowboys controversyEdit
2007 saw fresh controversy against NFL TV. That year the network turned out to possess the rights to matchups with major implications. The 1st came in late November when 1-loss Dallas hosted 1-loss Green Bay. Green Bay's Brett Favre was also having 1 of the best seasons of his career & would eventually lead the resurgent Packers to the NFC Championship Game. Most fans could not see the game because of carriage restrictions, now even more noticeable because it involved nationally respected teams in a highly anticipated matchup. This controversy would pale in comparison to the final game NFL TV would broadcast that season & of course the Rodgers-Favre-Packers media storm (which started after that game)
2007 Patriots vs. Giants controversyEdit
In December of 2007, Massachusetts Senator John Kerry wrote a letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell asking for the league to settle their differences in time for the New England Patriots-New York Giants game on December 29th that would be broadcast on Saturday Night Football. The game was the Patriots' record-sealing win that made them the 1st undefeated team through the regular season in 35 years. Kerry urged for a solution to be decided upon in time so that Americans can witness "a historic event". An agreement was worked out between the NFL & 2 of the League's TV partners, NBC & CBS to allow the NFL TV broadcast of the game to be simulcast on those networks, resulting in the 1st NFL simulcast since Super Bowl I & the 1st 3-network simulcast in the history of the league.
In addition WNEW-TV "FOX 5", the FOX affiliate in the New York City area & WBNE-TV 4 in Boston expressed dissatisfaction over the CBS/NBC simulcast stating it violated the agreements. The stations had already been scheduled to show the game, as per NFL rules. Greg Aiello, a NFL spokesperson, stated that NBC & CBS would not have agreed to present the simulcast without clearing the game nationally, including the aforementioned markets. WNEW-TV came to an agreement with the network & would air the game. WBNE-TV also would still televise the game & stated that it was still working toward resolving issues with NFL TV over additional coverage rights. The result of these arrangements was that viewers in the New York & Boston areas could see the game on up to 4 networks