NFL Network set for kickoff

Updated: November 3, 2003, 4:43 PM ET

NEW YORK -- Next for the NFL is its own TV network, a sort of all-football-all-the-time option for fans that begins broadcasting Tuesday.

Don't look for games, there, though. Those events remain the property of established networks that paid $2.6 billion for the privilege. What the NFL Network will provide is score updates on game days and related programming the rest of the time.

Finding it will be the trick, though, at least at the start.

Twenty-four hours before its launch, no cable systems had signed on to carry the network. It will be available on DirecTV, carried to about 11 million homes.

There will be 168 hours of weekly programming, much of it relying on NFL Films.

The network's programming lynchpin is "NFL Total Access," a live show hosted by lead anchor Rich Eisen, who left ESPN. It will offer news from team sites and interviews with players and coaches.

"Point After: Sounds of the Game," offers postgame audio from locker rooms and press conferences around the league. The network also will carry an hour-long condensed version a weekend game on Wednesdays.

Live preseason games will start airing on the network in 2004.

Ex-NFL players Solomon Wilcots, Glenn Parker and Sterling Sharpe have signed on for "NFL Playbook," an hour-long show that will analyze matchups in upcoming games.

"Football America" will cover non-NFL stories including Pop Warner, high school and women's flag football championship games and semi-pro football games such as the annual meeting between New York City's police and fire departments. There will also be a block of programming devoted to college football.

Steve Bornstein, former CEO at ESPN and president of ABC Sports, is president of the new network which has a $100 million launch budget and more than 100 employees.

This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index