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Author Topic:   NFL 2013/2014 Season
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From:Studio City, CA
Registered: Apr 2000

posted September 04, 2013 02:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for jpgordo   Click Here to Email jpgordo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote


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From:Kansas City
Registered: May 2000

posted October 14, 2013 08:13 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for kcchief   Click Here to Email kcchief     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yes - 6-0 and a sound record...


KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Arrowhead Stadium is once again the loudest stadium in the NFL.

This time, it's official.

The Kansas City Chiefs fans broke the world record for an outdoor sports stadium in their 24-7 win over Oakland on Sunday when they reached 137.5 decibels in the closing minutes.

An official from Guinness World Records told The Associated Press that Chiefs fans broke the record of 136.6 set by Seahawks fans during a game against San Francisco earlier this year.

To put that in perspective, a jet engine at 100 feet is about 140 decibels.

"I had people who'd been coming to Chiefs games for decades come up to me and say, `I've never heard it that loud,"' said Chiefs chairman Clark Hunt, whose family's franchise has long claimed that Arrowhead Stadium is the loudest in the league. "It's very difficult for a team to play in that."

That may be an understatement.

The Raiders struggled with the reverberating sound all afternoon, and were whistled for 11 penalties - several of them were false starts and for delay of game, simply because nobody in the visiting huddle could hear each other talking.

"It was a tough environment," Raiders quarterback Terrelle Pryor acknowledged.

The record-setting attempt was planned by Chiefs fans but had support of the organization, which paid $7,500 to fly an adjudicator from Guinness to Kansas City to document the effort. It turned out to be Philip Robertson, who also was on hand when the Seahawks set their mark.

"They destroyed any Premier League hopes of attaining this record, I can tell you that, and I'm a Brit that loves the Premier League," Robertson said. "It was extraordinary."

Robertson said that the sustained level of noise inside Arrowhead Stadium was greater than at CenturyLink Field, when Seattle set the record. But all that matters for the record books is the peak volume, and it appeared as if the Chiefs were going to come up short as the game wound down.

"In the fourth quarter, they got to 135.4, and that's where we thought they were going to finish," Robertson said. "Heads dropped, but then the fans really started working together."

The result was a record-setting din that shook the stadium's press box.

"We were really trying hard to get our calls to each other on defense. It was really tough," Chiefs safety Eric Berry said. "I had to actually go up to some of my teammates and yell in their ear what the calls were. But we love it, man. That's a great feeling."

Chiefs coach Andy Reid said he felt the ground shaking, and quarterback Alex Smith said he had a hard time communicating with teammates on the sideline when the crowd was at its peak.

Always when the Raiders had the ball, of course.

"The way the crowd was going, that was tough," Smith said. "I was sitting there on the sideline, and I could tell, it was hard environment to execute in."

Did he feel just a little sorry for Pryor trying to make his calls?

"Not at all. I've had my fair share of those," Smith said with a smile. "But I don't know if I've seen anything like that. That was pretty special."


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From:Redmond, WA
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posted October 21, 2013 01:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for fred   Click Here to Email fred     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Google Addresses NFL-YouTube TV Deal Rumor
Google reportedly has been in talks with the NFL about adding some kind of football package for Internet distribution via YouTube. But asked about Google’s interest in investing in live sports — and specifically NFL programming — senior vice president and chief business officer Nikesh Arora hinted that while the company may have had talks with the league, it isn’t interested right now. “Sure, we will talk to anybody who wants to talk to us about content,” Arora said on Google’s third quarter earnings call. “But for now, we’re happy with where we are.” Google talks to content providers “all the time, because we understand that users come to YouTube so that they can enjoy both user-generated content and other forms of content, both short form and long form,” Arora said. He added that Google is “pretty comfortable that we’re making great progress… We believe our content strategy on YouTube is working.” The Wall Street Journal reported this week that the NFL was considering adding a new slate of Thursday night games, and that it was in talks with potential partners including Netflix and Google. While league reps did not address whether the NFL has approached Internet distributors, they denied that additional Thursday games were in the cards: Meanwhile, on Google’s Q3 call, CEO Larry Page noted that YouTube viewership continues to grow, with mobile devices now accounting for nearly 40% of the site’s traffic (up from 6% two years ago). Video ads now form a significant part of YouTube’s business, growing at more than 75% year over year, Arora said.


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posted December 18, 2013 05:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for a   Click Here to Email a     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
You want to see sports blackouts end? Great! Who doesn’t? Once it was thought that the Federal Communications Commission might want to sustain one of professional sports’ most abject policies. But, no, today the FCC, acting on public pressure from the Sports Fans Coalition, among other groups, proposed ending its support for the blackout rules, which allow teams to prohibit telecasts of games in their local markets. This is great news for all sports fans — in 1972. Congratulations, now you can crank up the ol’ hundred-pound Zenith tube and hear Curt Gowdy do the Oilers games.

Fewer and fewer games get blacked out nowadays, but those that do grate NFL fans from Buffalo to San Diego.

The FCC cops to the weakness of its own proposal on page two, in a bit of efficiency-worshipping mealy-mouthedness designed to conceal the commission’s modern-day impotence: “We recognize that elimination of our sports blackout rules alone might not end sports blackouts, but it would leave sports carriage issues to private solutions negotiated by the interested parties in light of current market conditions and eliminate unnecessary regulation.”

And that’s just the thing: The blackout provisions currently vexing sports fans emerge from the leagues’ own plans to protect their revenues. The blackout rules written over the years by Congress and the FCC serve only to undergird the leagues’ anti-consumer practices. Without the FCC’s stamp of approval, the leagues will have to — what, exactly? Oh, right: keep doing what they’re doing.


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From:Redmond, WA
Registered: Apr 2000

posted January 02, 2014 11:08 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for fred   Click Here to Email fred     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Will DirecTV keep its Sunday Ticket football package or punt?

The satellite broadcaster's two-decade-long arrangement with the NFL has fueled its growth, but it's facing a hefty rate increase.

By Joe Flint

5:00 AM PST, January 1, 2014

For almost two decades, DirecTV's Sunday Ticket package of National Football League games has been a superstar performer for the satellite broadcaster.

But like any team with an aging and expensive player, DirecTV now has to decide whether to keep Sunday Ticket on its roster.

DirecTV pays $1 billion a season for the rights to all Sunday afternoon games under an exclusive deal that runs through next season. The satellite broadcaster and the NFL are in talks on a new contract, with cost and length being two sticking points.

ON LOCATION: Where the cameras roll

Sunday Ticket, created in 1994, is a football fan's dream that provides a live feed to every afternoon game around the country.

The package liberated fans from watching only the games being shown on local channels in their market. It also fueled growth for DirecTV. Two million of the broadcaster's 20 million subscribers pay as much as $250 per-season to receive the extra football programming.

"The Sunday Ticket package was a brilliant play for DirecTV, as it gave the displaced NFL fan an option to watch their team in the comfort of their own home and not be forced to go to the local sports bar," said Marc Bluestein, president of consulting firm Aquarius Sports & Entertainment. The "association with NFL definitely delivered large brand awareness for DirecTV, especially in its early years."

That has come at a cost. DirecTV's Sunday Ticket bill has more than doubled in the last 10 years and will probably continue rising.

One network sports executive predicts that DirecTV will be looking at a 40% increase to $1.4 billion for the 2015 season and 4% annual increases after that.

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Neither the NFL nor DirecTV would comment on their talks.

At a DirecTV investor conference in early December, Chief Executive Mike White said the company has had "very constructive conversations with the NFL" and remains optimistic that a new accord will be reached.

That sounded more positive than what White told analysts in May, when he suggested Sunday Ticket has peaked in value. "It is a pretty mature product," he said then.

The NFL has been very successful at getting more money from its TV partners. Its new contracts with Fox, CBS and NBC — which kick in next season — average a combined $3.1 billion annually in rights fees, a 63% increase from their previous pacts. ESPN's new deal with the NFL averages $1.9 billion a season, a 72% jump. At the same time, the NFL has made moves over the last several years that may have diminished the value of Sunday Ticket — and may make DirecTV reluctant to accept a hefty increase.

For starters, the NFL Network, the league's own channel, now carries 13 Thursday night games, which reduces the number of Sunday games for Sunday Ticket. The NFL has also slightly bumped up the number of nationally televised Sunday games that Fox and CBS carry.

GRAPHIC: Best of 2013 | Entertainment & culture

Then there is RedZone, the channel the NFL launched five years ago that shows live action, including every touchdown, from all Sunday games. Although RedZone doesn't offer complete games, it shows plenty of live action and has taken away some of Sunday Ticket's cachet.

"RedZone is a pretty good substitute product for Sunday Ticket," said Brian Bedol, chief executive of Bedrocket Media Ventures and a former sports television executive.

Vince Wladika, a sports media strategist, said RedZone led him to drop Sunday Ticket this season.

"RedZone gives me what I need," he said — and for only $5 to $6 a month.

At an analysts' meeting last year, DirecTV Chief Financial Officer Patrick Doyle suggested that the company might be willing to give up its exclusive hold on Sunday Ticket if the price tag got too high.

That would be good news to cable operators such as Comcast Corp. and Time Warner Cable, which for years have longed to get their hands on Sunday Ticket.

But the NFL risks upsetting Fox and CBS if Sunday Ticket's availability went from just 20 million DirecTV subscribers to 100 million cable and satellite homes, or via the Internet.

CRITICS' PICKS: What to watch, where to go, what to eat

Wider distribution of Sunday Ticket could do serious harm to the ratings of the local TV stations that carry Fox and CBS football. The NFL used to give Fox and CBS a small piece of DirecTV's rights fees — about $10 million for each network — to compensate for any lost viewers, but that practice stopped several years ago.

For DirecTV, losing exclusivity to Sunday Ticket probably wouldn't hurt its bottom line. However, not carrying Sunday Ticket at all is a big risk.

"They would lose subscribers and their competitive advantage," said Marc Ganis, head of consulting firm Sportscorp Ltd. If all the NFL Sunday Ticket subscribers went elsewhere, Ganis said, it would cost DirecTV billions in subscriber fees.

The length of the next contract is one of the hang-ups in the talks, according to a person with knowledge of the negotiations. DirecTV is interested in a contract as long as eight years, while the NFL would prefer a five-year commitment.

A DirecTV insider who declined to speak for attribution because of the sensitivity of the talks said an exclusive deal with the NFL would probably get done in the coming months, but it might be the last one.

One reason cited by industry observers is that as the NFL seeks to exploit new opportunities and create additional revenue streams, the value of an exclusive package with one distributor could diminish both for the league and the provider.

"With all the new platforms coming," Bedol said, "by the time the next Sunday Ticket deal comes up, it will be obsolete."


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