Wednesday, December 26, 2007

NBC, CBS to Simulcast Patriots-Giants

In an unprecedented move, the NFL Network will now allow both CBS and NBC to simulcast the much anticipated New England Patriots at New York Giants game Saturday night, as the Patriots look to go to 16-0 for the season.
The Patriots-Giants game, which was to be broadcast Saturday night to less than half the country by the NFL Network, will be available to the entire nation under an agreement reached Wednesday by NBC and CBS to simulcast it.

The 15-0 Patriots are attempting to become the first National Football League team since the 1972 Miami Dolphins to go undefeated throughout the entire regular season. Miami went on to win the Super Bowl and finish 17-0 that season.

NBC and CBS will show the NFL Network’s production of the game, with the announcers Bryant Gumbel and Cris Collinsworth, and will not pay an extra rights fee. They will each get to sell 18 30-second commercial units.

Dick Ebersol, the chairman of NBC Universal Sports, said yesterday by telephone that in a conversation in October with Steve Bornstein, the chief executive of the NFL Network, that he would be amenable to a simulcast, and would share it with another broadcast network, if the Patriots’ momentum toward an undefeated season continued. Then, on Monday morning, Bornstein called to ask him if his idea was still viable for NBC.

“As early as last week, I didn’t think it would happen, but then Steve called and I ran it past Jeff, and he said, ‘yes,’ ” said Ebersol, referring to Jeff Zucker, the president of NBC Universal. He added, “I’m intrigued by the historic nature of two over-the-air networks carrying the game. It’ll be fun and will give the NFL Network a chance to exhibit their wares.”

Joe Browne, a spokesman for the league, said: “The two networks independently expressed an interest in carrying the game. They saw the problems we were having with a few of the big cable companies, and so we went back to them earlier this week, and said, ‘What if you both simulcast the NFL Network?’”
What a shame the Giants will have to ruin the party for everyone.

Wait, did I just say that?

Just kidding. They have nothing to play for after locking up the NFC's No. 5 seed and a date with Tampa Bay next week.

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