Live in Chicago? Unable to acquire the NFL Network? Have no fear, you may not have to miss the Bears beating the Dolphins this season.
Word has come down, as Phil Rosenthal from the Trib reports, that WGN will broadcast the NFL Network feed live on the over-the-air broadcasts that they provide locally in Chicago.
The caveat to this deal? The game has to be deemed a sellout 3 days before kickoff. Anyone who thinks this game won't sellout is positively insane.
But why are these small types of deals so interesting? It's because this is one of the ways the NFL continues to sweeten it's own pot.
Now, this doesn't affect a vast majority of the fanbase, nor even a vast majority of our delightful readership here at WCG. But it does affect the fans in Chicago area, even if it's a small potatoes issue.
Let's look at it this way--the NFL strikes a deal with cable and satellite providers to provide their Network to everyone. This is usually an extra surcharge, possibly part of a "Sports & Leisure" package, or some such. The cable company charges you enough to make a profit on this as well.
So if you're living in Chicago (or one of the other markets they'll be broadcasting), and you've purchased the NFL Network as your way to ensure you see every game your favorite team plays, you've done so largely on the belief that NFL Network was going to be the only way to get it. And now you could've gotten it for "free."
So the NFL gets to make money off the gig twice. They sold the NFL Network to you via your cable company, and then they're making that money again on teams' local markets by reselling the same game to the over the air provider. In this case, the Tribune, has recently invested a significant amount of money, which has the potential to trickle down to readership, at some point.
"But Kev," you're saying, "why do I care? I don't live there."
You should have every reason to care. I'm not one to fault a company making money...that's the point of it. It's also a very clever way for them to supplement their revenues. Just remember, as the league continues to push for increased prices, and be concerned about salaries and rising costs, remember, there are other deals like this that they're making money on, and you may not even realize it..