Cowboys Owner and NFL Network Committee Chair Jerry Jones is trying his hardest to convince people that the NFL-N is going to be on-air for good, and is even predicting a 16 game schedule for the cable channel…

“The eight games are a very definitive attempt to say the NFL Network is here to stay,” Jerry Jones, the owner of the Dallas Cowboys, said in an interview last week. “It’s long term, and if it’s not eight games, it could be 16.”- NYT

While sixteen games might be tough to pull off when most people don’t even get the channel, the threat is out there for the other networks. One of those other networks is CBS, and the “Eye” is none to happy about this and the flex scheduling that’s taking place in the league. CBS President Sean McManus was interviewed by Sports Business Daily and had the following to say about each issue….

NFL Network: “The NFL Network is, to an extent, an insurance policy just in case the kind of money that they think their cable package is worth isn’t able to be acquired. The NFL is very cognizant that TNT and ESPN, to a large extent, built themselves on the backs of NFL programming. You can make the case that TNT became a fully-distributed viable network because they had that eight-game NFL package. And there would still be an ESPN today without the NFL, but they certainly wouldn’t be getting the three-and-half to four dollars per month per subscriber, and wouldn’t be the powerhouse it is today. The NFL looked at that history and said, “If anybody’s going to build a cable channel on the backs of the NFL programming again, its going to be us.”

Flex Scheduling: “The intent of flex schedule was to make sure that in the second half of the season, the primetime network package didn’t get stuck with a bad game. It was never intended to cherry pick the best game on Sunday and move it to primetime. It was never intended to let NBC — despite what they, I think, wanted people to believe — it was never intended to let NBC pick a game and move it to primetime. I think the Patriots versus Cornell would probably be a game they would put in primetime right now.”

Zing! Nice one McManus. To make a long story/quote short (in case you may only read what I write and not the quotes on AA) is that the NFL Network is an NFL Insurance Policy to guard against another ESPN and Flex Scheduling is sketchy at best. I’m inclined to agree with him on this one. Flex Scheduling gives NBC a huge advantage over FOX and CBS, but if you’re pulling a 20+ rating once a year against their 10 or 11….you’re not doing too bad.

I urge you to head over to SBD and either pay for a subscription or get the trial going to read the rest. Great stuff if you’re a Sports Nerd like me.

CBS’ Sean McManus Discusses Flex Schedule, Goodell At SMT (Sports Business Daily)

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