The Dallas Cowboys beating the Green Bay Packers 37-27 got an NFL Network record 10.1 million viewers around the country. The latest Nielsen numbers say cable’s NFL Network is available in 43 million households, that’s about 38 percent of the 112.8 million U.S. households with televisions. The game was seen in 6.3 million households.
That sounds like a pretty big number to me, but the story all week was that millions of people who would have watched the game, couldn’t-because the NFL Network is not available in all areas. The best numbers for Monday Night Football on the Entertainment and Sports Programming Network are 14 million viewers for the Packers-Broncos on Oct. 29. Still, what’s 3 or 4 million viewer, to a bunch of billionaires?
The best rated game on regular TV was the what-if superbowl of the Patriots vs Colts and attracted 33.8 million viewers. So maybe even a bunch of billionaires would like to have another 20 million viewer, more or less. Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones wants those 20 million viewers. Shockingly, Jerry Jones blames greedy cable companies, not greedy NFL owners for the availability problems.
“I’m talking to various markets and asking them to cancel out Comcast, cancel out Time Warner and go with the other people,” Jerry Jones, who chairs the NFL owners’ TV committee, said during a news conference. “I think it will be very effective.”
NFL games are one of a handful of programs that people want to watch as they actually happen. The NFL and Jerry Jones know this, and are in essence blackmailing fans into buying the NFL Network. This makes them look more like good, old-fashioned greedy bastards than ever.