NFL Surrenders: Giants-Patriots Game To Be Simulcast On NBC, CBS

After threats from US Senators and general hue and cry from sports fans, the NFL has caved and will allow NBC and CBS to simulcast the upcoming Giants-Patriots game in which Tom Brady and the boys may become the first team to go undefeated since the Miami Dolphins first did it in 1972, and the first team to go 16-0 in the regular season. The game will be available nationwide.

From Sports Illustrated:

“We have taken this extraordinary step because it is in the best interest of our fans,” commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement after the league announced it was reversing course. “What we have seen for the past year is a very strong consumer demand for NFL Network. We appreciate CBS and NBC delivering the NFL Network telecast on Saturday night to the broad audience that deserves to see this potentially historic game. Our commitment to the NFL Network is stronger than ever.”

NFL Network spokesman Seth Palansky said officials would have no further comment Wednesday.

It’s hard to see this as anything other than a victory for cable companies, who stood firm as the NFL Network tried to force them to carry the channel on basic cable.

This will be the first three-network simulcast in NFL history and the first simulcast of an NFL game since the inaugural Super Bowl in 1967, when CBS and NBC televised the meeting of the champions of the newly merged National Football League and American Football League.

“We’re happy to accommodate the NFL’s request for a joint national simulcast of this potentially historic game to make it available to the widest possible audience,” said Dick Ebersol, NBC Universal’s chairman for sports and Olympics.

Now let’s just hope that Coughlin lets the starters play.

Giants-Pats available nationwide [SI] (Thanks, Justin!)
(AP Photo/Winslow Townson)

Comments

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  1. homerjay says:

    Thank you, Senate, for focusing on the most important issues facing all Americans today- the availability of televised football. Now,

  2. IphtashuFitz says:

    Decisions, decisions… Which network should I watch the game on?

  3. lalala1956 says:

    Work on a resolution in Iraq or NFL football?…hmmm… Egads, I’ll make Jefferson and Washington proud and pass a resolution demanding the Patriots game be available on the public networks. Priorities please!

  4. HeyThereKiller says:

    In addition to hopefully being a fantastic game, this will be a great way to judge whose HD broadcast is better… much better than the State of the Union Address

  5. thetanooki says:

    I think this is the first time in my life that I wanted a New York team to win…

  6. rasbach says:

    As much as it pains me to say this….GO GIANTS!!

  7. vliam says:

    Now they can get back to the really important issues, like steroids in baseball.

  8. davebg5 says:

    It’s funny how the league is always blaming their supposedly unbreakeable TV contracts when we get shut out of a good game and are forced to spend a Sunday afternoon watching another crapfest between the Jets and ‘Fins, but when a couple of members of Congress call the NFL and threaten to take a hard look at their antitrust exemption all of a sudden they can break their contract w/the local station that had exclusive rights to carry the game over a public channel in the home team’s vewing area.

  9. Zgeg says:

    Umm.. Any coincidence that the picture is of Tom Brady underneath a pile of defenders? Someone over at the Consumerist staff hoping for a Giants win?!?!? Go Pats!!!!

  10. savvy999 says:

    This will greatly affect the ratings of the ‘other’ previously scheduled football game that night– the Valero Alamo Bowl featuring the Texas A&M Aggies vs the Penn State Nittany Lions on ESPN.

    Mickey Mouse is going to be pissed.

  11. Starfury says:

    My opinion on the whole NFL (and sports in general)

    BFD.

    Don’t watch sports, don’t pay to go to games, don’t have team logo stuff

    The exception in the house: My wife likes hockey and is a Sharks fan.

  12. Falconfire says:

    @lalala1956: You do realize they work on hundreds of things a day… The amount of discussion on this one probably lasted 1/100th the amount they have on the Iraq war JUST THIS YEAR.

  13. Rukasu says:

    way to be 24 hours behind the curve consumerist…old news

    Go Pats!

  14. Bay State Darren says:

    Now the whole nation can watch my avatar become true
    :-) [knocks accordingly upon some wood.]

  15. SaveMeJeebus says:

    Senate and the rest of football-watching America need to get out more.

  16. m4ximusprim3 says:

    @Starfury: Which means nobody should ever care. Obviously, we’re all nimrods. I’ll get back to doing what you do now.

  17. Buran says:

    @Falconfire: And they’re STILL apparently too busy to address environmental and science issues.

  18. KF4 says:

    I’ll be watching. On the NFL network. Which I’ve had all year. What’s five bucks a month for a sports package when I can watch the good football games that have invariably been moving to NFLnet, every soccer game ever played, collegiate curling, and hunting?

  19. Alexander says:

    @Starfury: Yeah, BFD! Sports are only multi-BILLION dollar businesses that provide thousands of jobs and entertain millions of people. Yeah, BFD. The Super Bowl is only the MOST watched show in the WORLD every year. But yeah BFD. Let me go smell my own farts and get lost in the moment…

  20. JMH says:

    KF4, five bucks a month is nothing if you have a desire to watch those things. If you’re not a sports fan, being forced to pay $5/month for NFL Network on basic cable is pretty absurd, and I actually AGREE with the cable companies’ stand on this for a change.

    And I say that as someone who watches football and soccer and would even tune in for curling every now and then.

  21. Alexander says:

    @JMH: Totally agree. The NFL confuses me at times though. I am a huge football fan and I would be willing to fork over the $500+ a year to get NFL Sunday Ticket HD but the NFL won’t let me! I can’t get DirecTV and they are the only ones that carry Sunday Ticket. In other countries they even offer the games online…not the US though. Because of their huge popularity the NFL gets away with some really dumb business practices. One day it will come back and bite them in the rear.

  22. LTS! says:

    Multiple Choice:

    A. NFL Network
    B. NBC
    C. CBS
    D. None of the above

    Choice D FTW! Congratulations on the NFL for undermining its own stupid cause. However, I’m still not watching because they are anti-consumer overall.

    Oh and the broadcasts are all the same, it’s simulcasting the NFL Network, so you won’t get Al and John or Jim and Phil. You get whoever does NFL Network games.

  23. GreatCaesarsGhost says:

    @SaveMeJeebus:
    “Senate and the rest of football-watching America need to get out more.”

    Says the guy posting on an internet thread about a subject he’s not interested in.

  24. just_paranoid says:

    i’m a colts fan so you know who i want to lose.

  25. Leah says:

    @alexander: *nod* I’m sure other consumerist readers have had the same experiences as me. I worked at sports stadiums (Kingdome, Safeco Field, Qwest Field, Key Arena, Husky Stadium) all through high school and college. Being a vendor made me really good money, gave me great exercise, and let me watch the sports I love on a regular basis. And the money was fabulous. I also saw firsthand just how many people relied on the income stream from stadium work to make ends meet at home.

    Sports stars may be paid millions, but they’re not the only ones relying on the money generated from sporting revenues.

  26. ColoradoShark says:

    “We have taken this extraordinary step because it is in the best interest of our fans” says the commissioner. Because, you know, normally we don’t care about the best interest of our fans.

  27. Alexander says:

    @Leah: That is great! Beyond entertainment value, Sports leagues are just like regular businesses and they should be held accountable as well. The NFL has made some puzzling decisions against their viewers. In a way it’s best if the NFL network venture fails for them and I’m glad the cable carriers have stood their ground.

  28. synergy says:

    @alexander: They make a lot of money, but not for the people who work it. Also, the biggest sport isn’t the Super Bowl. That would be the World Cup. You know, which the WHOLE world watches somehow.

  29. synergy says:

    So. What exactly is the point to showing it on more then one major network?? Are there that many places that don’t get both NBC and CBS??

  30. evslin says:

    The NFL shot themselves in the foot when they allowed Cox to put NFLN on the Sports & Information tier. Now all the other cable companies are looking at this and going “hey you douchebags, we want that option too”.

    I’m no expert in the matter, but I do know one thing – the market is generally speaking not willing to bear the product the NFL is offering at the price they want. I’d bet a dollar that by next season either the NFL is going to slash the asking price for NFLN (70 cents per subscriber per month) substantially, or they are going to back down and allow cable carriers to put NFLN on a digital tier just like they let Cox.

  31. IndyJaws says:

    @Bay State Darren:

    Careful BSD…we’re lurking and waiting for our chance to ruin the season in the AFC Championship game at Foxboro! ;)

  32. nffcnnr says:

    The game will be broadcast on NFL, NBC, and CBS. – “That’s the good news. The bad news is Bryant Gumble will still be doing the play-by-play.” – The Local Dallas Sports Guy on the 10:00 news last night. LOL!! It’s funny cuz it’s true!! Ha ha!!

  33. choinski says:

    In Boston add ABC to the list. Too bad PBS has stopped even TRYING to air non-’Yoga and You’ repeats.

  34. Alexander says:

    @synergy: Ok. It is true that not everyone employed by the NFL gets paid millions, but they do provide jobs that help regular people make a living. It’s like the company I work (and many many others). They make about $34 million a year profit, the three owners make millions in salary but most of the workers (300+) only make adequate salaries ranging from minimum wage to much more…but no one other than the owners make millions in salary. Yet if the company where to go out of business, I and 300+ others would be screwed and out of a job. The NFL hires all sorts of people from janitors to doctors to lawyers. Also, I never said SPORT. I said biggest watched SHOW in the world. Big difference.

  35. Alexander says:

    @nffcnnr: There is no one drier and with less personality than Bryant Gumble as a commentator…he is painful to listen to.

  36. jmschn says:

    @Starfury: Sounds like you’re sleeping with the enemy then! lol

  37. nequam says:

    @synergy: Maybe since the NFL has deals with NBC, CBS, ESPN (ABC) and FOX, they couldn’t show a preference by choosing a single network to show the game. It could be that FOX and ESPN also were given the option but turned it down? I think ESPN has a college bowl game at the same time. Then again, I’m just guessing so I probably haven’t helped the discussion.

  38. SaveMeJeebus says:

    @GreatCaesarsGhost: It does interest me because it is one of the only things my coworkers ever talk about. I care about the business aspect of this–not the actual football.

  39. Starfury says:

    @jmschn: You know what they say about keeping your enemies closer…

  40. azntg says:

    Guess there really won’t be anything to watch on TV this Saturday. No, I’m not a complete couch potato, but I do live to watch OTA tv from time to time. WCBS, WNBC and WWOR are all going to run the the Giants-Patriots game. Oy!

  41. scampy says:

    Sorry but it definitley should be placed on the free tier. I know Im not alone in that I dont want to pay $10 a month for the whole year just to watch 5 NFL games at the end of the year. I could care less about the crappy boring sports like golf, hockey, soccer, tennis and basketball that you get on the other “premium” sports tier.

  42. B says:

    @just_paranoid: The Giants? I assume you want your favorite team to have the privalage of being the first and only team to beat the Patriots.

  43. dalejo says:

    At least the Democrats can now state they accomplished something this year.

  44. DoctorMD says:

    I thought it is agains FCC regulations to broadcast the same thing simultaneously on more than 1 channel to protect smaller stations from being screwed over larger ones.

  45. uricmu says:

    Why does everyone care about this game anyway? It’s more hyped than the Pats-Indy game.

    Unless the Pat’s don’t bring up the starters, they’ll probably win it anyway just like they’ll (unfortunately) win the Superbowl or at least the AFC.

  46. mconfoy says:

    @Starfury: so you are telling us this why?

  47. selianth says:

    I’m just amused by the fact that in the Boston area, the local CBS, ABC, and NBC stations will all be showing the same Pats game. Apparently WCVB (the Boston local station that had the rights to show the game) is taking issue with the whole decision, since now they won’t have the exclusive broadcast.

  48. chiieddy says:

    This isn’t a regular season game. The regular season ended last week. This is inter-league play.

    That said, I’m probably going to be the only person in New England going ‘GO GIANTS!’ Ah, the legacy of having grown up in the NY area. :)

  49. ElizabethD says:

    Yay! Because of this action we were able to watch the Pats-Giants game in RI tonight. Terrific game, very exciting.