Tagliabue Previews NFL's TV Innovations

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The National Football League is considering plans to launch its own
television channel and to make the league's video archives available to fans via
digital video-on-demand services, NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue said
Wednesday.

He said the league is trying to innovate as it struggles to attract and
retain TV viewers who can choose from an ever-increasing array of channels.

"I think the future is a positive one if you deal with it thoughtfully,
intelligently and with some vision," Tagliabue said. "We have been exploring all
kinds of different services."

Those services, he added, include video-on-demand, interactive games,
high-definition TV broadcasts and "NFL channel concepts." He said the league
would authorize and oversee, but not run, such a channel.

"These would be some radical departures for us in terms of television,"
Tagliabue said. "Radical in the sense that we would be ... really using the
digital revolution to be able to have consumers access" the league's extensive
video archive, which is currently maintained by NFL Films.

While a small portion of the video archives is already available to fans at
NFL.com (

He added that the NFL is considering moving additional games to Sunday and
Monday nights, which currently feature only one game each.

"In the current TV universe, to have only one game in a time slot is
problematic," Tagliabue said, noting that airing more games simultaneously would
make viewers less likely to stop watching football if one game was lopsided or
uninteresting.

States News Service

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