As the NFL season kicks off tonight and the Dallas Cowboys open their season Sunday in Jacksonville, you're probably not real happy that Time Warner cable (previously Comcast) ditched football. Get ready for more horrific, homogenized news.
Because of new league rules aimed at uncluttered sidelines--couldn't we just have banned Suzy Kolber?--each local team will designate a rotating "pool video reporter" to provide feed for local stations. In other words, the Cowboys highlights you'll see on Mike Doocy's Sports Sunday at 10:05 p.m. Sunday night will be the exact same--the exact same--highlights you'll see on Dale Hansen's Sports Special at 10:15. Shot from the same camera. By the same person. From the same field-level position. It's the newspaper equivalent of reading Jean-Jaques Taylor's game story in both The Dallas Morning News and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Imagine, readers opting for buyouts.
"It's a surprisingly short-sighted move by the NFL," Doocy said to this blog when he finally stopped blogging for his own blog. "I don't see how restricting local stations can be good for the league."
Actually, it could've been worse. To protect and prop up their new network partner, the NFL strongly considered a gag order on any game highlights by local stations until the end of the NBC Sunday-night game. That, in essence, would've choked off the wildly popular Sunday night sports shows and left us staying up to get our NFL highlights from George Michael's Sports Machine. (Can you believe that ridiculous show is still hanging on?) But after much hand-wringing, the local Sunday shows will be allowed to show six minutes of highlights. Still, this season marks a new era of football filming. Instead of competing against each other, veteran photojournalists such as KDFW-Channel 4's Larry Rodriguez and WFAA-Channel 8's Arnold Payne will now be providing content for each other. Weird. --Richie Whitt