Alright, I'm aware that a great amount of posturing and politics goes into the NFL's contracts with its television partners, and because of this there are perfectly sound reasons for the league not to air all of their preseason games live as they are played. Still, it is unacceptable for fans outside of their favorite teams' immediate market to have to wait until the next day to see the game, as was the case for this weekend's Saints vs Chiefs game in New Orleans.
Now, you could always pay to watch the games legally over the internet, thanks to the wonderfully gracious NFL website. Yeah, I'll pass thanks. I'd pay to watch regular season games, I don't ,but I would, and I'm quite glad the NFL and their satellite partner offers that particular plan. I'll say this though, it's ridiculous to ask the fans to pay for preseason football. Come on now, it's exhibition action at its finest! No, throw us a bone here NFL, fans shouldn't have to wait a day, or sometimes days, to see their favorite team play.
The NFL is the biggest thing out there and the more NFL on TV, the better. More eyes on the NFL product, more advertising money for the television stations airing the games, and most importantly, loyal NFL fans getting to see their team play. This is can't lose, grade-school level stuff here folks. Because out of market fans, like myself and a great many others, can't see games live, they may just turn to other things, I'd think the NFL and its partners wouldn't like to see that. Another thing the NFL wouldn't like is folks using "alternative methods" to see these games live, which is what the league is indirectly promoting with their backward methods.
The NFL airs its regular season and postseason games on CBS, NBC, FOX, and ESPN. Now if they don't want to air most of the preseason games on the national networks, I get that, but each of these networks own other lower profile networks that don't really have something better to air in these timeslots.
CBS? They also own the CW. What would they be showing on a Fri/Sat night, Emo Superheroes with Sparkles!
NBC? They also own NBC Sports Network. What would they be showing on a Fri/Sat night, Major League Log Choppin'
Fox? They own FX and Fox Sports. What would they be showing on a Fri/Sat night, Deadbeat Poker Night: 2003 Championships
ESPN? They are partnered with ABC, who runs ABC Family. What would they be showing on a Fri/Sat night, Princess Diaries 3: Princess in 'da hood
See where I'm going here, there are a lot of networks on which the NFL can air these games and still keep their regular television partners. It's not like they would rather air their regularly scheduled garbage over pseudo-NFL football. I wouldn't be surprised if preseason football still outdrew anything else on television on a weekend evening Something needs to change, and soon.
I'm a Saints fan on the West Coast, and many of you are spread throughout the country and far across the globe. Just like you I've yet to see the Saints play this preseason and likely won't see a single preseason game live, and that's a shame. Saints fans need Saints football, so televise the live games already NFL, this is getting a little ridiculous. I can watch the Super Bowl for free on television but not an exhibition game somewhere, anywhere on the dial? That's just backwards. Alright, let's see what terrible programming is on TV...