Ten years ago, a new network launched across the broadcasting world. This network was not about sports. It was not about fashion. It was not about news, weather or science. It was about the NFL, and only about the NFL. The NFL Network has become the place to go for the latest information on any and all things dealing with the National Football League. This week, they celebrate this milestone in their broadcasting history.
Wait, you say, a network that does all football, all the time? Won’t that get stale?
They said something similar about CNN. All news, all the time? Who would watch that?
Millions. And millions more are awaiting the 10th Anniversary Special scheduled to air Wednesday night at 10PM EST on NFL Network.
Current and past commentators will take a look back at the moments that made the NFL Network a top-rated broadcaster as well as a fun place to spend your pre-game, halftime and post-game. Launched on November 4, 2003, NFL Total Access host Rich Eisen introduced the NFL Network as a “dream come true” for football fans.
There are those, of course, who resisted. ESPN has its version of a football-focused program, but they have to spend time on other sports, like hockey. And tennis. And baseball. And basketball. I hear they talk about a little golf once in a while, too. Bit of soccer… yeah where’s my football?
Oh, NFL Network, of course!
From replays of the most compelling games of the previous weekend (NFL Replay), to adding two more days of live football to the season (Thursday Night Football; Saturday Football) the NFL Network continues to innovate, bringing us information, stats, and in-depth, up close details on players, coaches, teams, strategies, predictions, and analysis that we simply cannot get in an hour or even a couple of hours from any other source.
Its fun too. These guys have a blast talking about the sport most of them played at some point in their lives. Stars of the sport are gravitating to the NFL Network, because it is as close to the field and the fans as you can get without padding up and negotiating an outrageous contract. The passion and personality quirks that mesh together in the NFL Network’s wide array of programs simply boggles the mind. Male and female commentators cover every angle of every game and every football related issue every day.
Of course the NFL Network is not a public network. It is only available with certain levels of cable or satellite television. When negotiations for with those providers was underway, it seemed the NFL Network was slated to be an al a cart service, meaning subscribers could add it on for an additional monthly cost if they wanted to.
According to certain broadcasters at the time, the NFL network wanted to be included into service levels like Sy-Fy, TNT, TBS, and WGN are. Providers argued the point, and had a good one. Not everyone likes football enough to tolerate an all-NFL channel on their lineup.
It seems the NFL Network won that match. Packages are available without the NFL Network, but they are lower tier packages designed for the thrifty or very casual TV watcher.
Now, the NFL Network is about football, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. However, it’s not all about simply playing football. Emmy award-winning programming like A Football Life, Around the League, and Playbook are staples of the network. NFL Red Zone gives football viewers nothing but scoring plays from inside the 20-yard line. Touchdowns and field goals all day as long as games are airing, live; that is NFL Red Zone.
The history of the NFL is explored as well as the many milestones that over 60 years of this game can accumulate. Also, they have enough Top 10 shows to bring joy and happiness to any stat-nuts’ heart and soul. Fantasy coverage, draft coverage, even cheerleader tryout coverage and exclusive college combine access are yours if you have and watch the NFL Network.
The Grid-Iron Gods are pleased.
So, Dana White…when are we getting a UFC Network??
Commentary by Brandi Tasby
Stat-Nut and Football Fan