All About Brad!
Registered: Jun 2003
Local time: 03:21 AM
Location: Freezing in Colorado
Posted: Thursday December 11, 2003 9:11PM; Updated: Friday December 12, 2003 12:19AM
NEW YORK (AP) -- NFL owners may be asked to consider the possibility of two Monday night games each week to avoid the recurring problem of meaningless late-season games in the league's showcase telecast.
Commissioner Paul Tagliabue floated the idea in the second of a two-part interview aired Thursday night on HBO's Inside the NFL.
"We'd like to look to see if we could put more than one game in the prime-time window," he said. "The one that is more attractive would be telecast nationally; the other could be telecast regionally."
The Monday night schedule is released in early spring. Teams with winning records the previous year normally play in the majority of the prime-time games.
But salary-cap induced parity has led to drastic annual fluctuations. If this season ended now, nine of last season's 12 playoff teams would miss the postseason, including the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Oakland Raiders, who played in the Super Bowl.
So, ABC has been asking the league for the flexibility to switch a Sunday game to Monday late in a season to avoid a meaningless matchup. Fox and CBS, which have the contracts for Sunday games, have resisted, suggesting that they would lose viewers if there was a late switch that took an attractive matchup from their schedule.
Tagliabue said a late switch also would inconvenience fans with tickets for a game. His alternative would be the two games.
But that would still have to be approved by the networks and the owners -- perhaps at league meetings next March. He did not say what financial arrangements would be involved, although ABC would have to make a financial concession to the network that loses a Sunday game.
Last year, the owners discussed the possibility of switching Sunday and Monday night games. But because of opposition from Fox and CBS, there was no vote taken.
Copyright 2003 Associated Press.