The NFL has arranged an unprecedented three-way national simulcast of the NFL Network telecast of Saturday night’s New England Patriots-New York Giants game when the Patriots will try to become the first NFL team to go 16-0 in a regular season, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced.
Said Dick Ebersol, Chairman, NBC Universal Sports & Olympics: "We’re happy to accommodate the NFL’s request for a joint national simulcast of this potentially historic game to make it available to the widest possible audience. We are proud to be part of the first joint simulcast, with the NFL Network and CBS, of an NFL game since Super Bowl I with CBS."
NBC and CBS will carry the NFL Network feed of the game with their regular announce team of Bryant Gumbel and NBC Football Night in America’s Cris Collinsworth in the booth. The game will also air on WCVB (ABC) Boston, WMUR (ABC) Manchester, NH and WWOR New York.
This will be the first three-network simulcast in NFL history and the first simulcast of any kind of an NFL game since Super Bowl I in 1967 when CBS and NBC both televised the first meeting of the champions of the newly merged National Football League and American Football League.
TVBR observation: The NFL is hardly acting out of the kindness of its heart. It was under heavy political pressure in Washington for planning to broadcast this high profile game exclusively on its own NFL Network, which most of the major MSOs have refused to carry on their basic cable tiers — or at all, in many cases. When key Members of Congress threatened to re-examine the NFL’s antitrust exemption, the league’s attempt to keep the pressure on the cable companies began to crumble.