Wednesday, April 20, 2005Couple of Tidbits...
Army/ESPN: Interesting story as Army's football team signs an exclusive TV contract with the networks of the Worldwide Sports Leader. The deal calls for one game a season to be on ESPN or ESPN2 with the rest on ESPN Classic or ESPNU.
Great deal for both sides. Army is without a conference so the TV will give them the necessary exposure to recruit and compete for a bowl (since ESPN runs most of those too) and all Army home and neutral site games will be available to the troops around the world.
"I can't begin to say what a big boost this is for our program,'' Army head coach Bobby Ross said. "I know people say that Dallas is America's team, but I think we are. In the past, the only opportunity they've really had to see us play was during the Army-Navy game.''
MNF/ESPN: R.D. talked about this yesterday [link] I might tomorrow. Basically the NFL overplayed its relationship with Disney and somehow got a sweetheart deal for NBC out of it...NBC made out like bandits, getting the premier game for the second half of the season AND the two Super Bowls that ABC was going to get.
The good thing about this MNF deal from a network standpoint is that the game will be available for free in the markets that the teams represent. That was crucial. I have a feeling the NFL is waiting to see if Rupert Murdoch really does launch a major all-sports network, if so they might get the deal for Saturday games. If not TNT might jump back into the fray (remember they did Sunday night games for the first-half of the year in the mid-90s).
Either with so much new money floating around, I expect the players and league to sign off on a new labor agreement much sooner.