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)