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Super Bowl XLVIII (Selection) Blackout
By all accounts, Roger Goodell is a strong-willed guy.
The NFL commissioner was a big proponent of making the New (your naming rights sponsorship deal here) Meadowlands Stadium the site of Super Bowl XLVIII, which come February 2014 will mark the first time the pro football extravaganza is held in a cold-weather, open-air venue.
One can agree with the argument that the game and its related hoopla will gain added exposure from being staged in the media capital of the world. At the same time, one can question the wisdom or the karma of having the Super Bowl possibly being played under snowy (now, that would be cool) or cold, slick conditions that might put a damper on the players’ performance or on the experience of those privileged to have tickets.
Tuesday afternoon, NFL Network aired a 90-minute special, Super Bowl XLVIII Selection Show, from the league’s spring meeting in Dallas, where New York/New Jersey topped South Florida and Tampa in a fourth round of owner voting for the right to host the Lombardi Trophy and the up to $550 million in economic benefits that might accrue from the title tilt.
One small problem: Many in the New York area never had a chance to see the selection show as the top distributors in the New York metro area, Cablevision and Time Warner Cable, still don’t carry NFL Network.
Goodell and the NFL have certainly made the case for its in-house network highlighted by its eight primetime games. But they have not been able to impose their will on those two operators, as well as Charter and Suddenlink, all of which have remained outside the channel’s distribution roster over pricing and positioning issues.
The question is: Do the Jets and/or the Giants have a better chance of playing in what would amount to a home game of sorts in Super Bowl XLVIII than Cablevision or Time Warner Cable subscribers have of being able to watch NFL Network and all of its pre-game coverage that day?
What do you think?