Flap with NFL Network resolved for two stations over Pats-Giants game

Updated: December 29, 2007, 1:31 AM ET
Associated Press

NEW YORK -- Two local TV stations have resolved their dispute with the NFL Network over Saturday night's broadcast of the potentially historic Patriots-Giants game.

WCVB in Boston and Manchester, N.H., station WMUR, which are owned by the same company, and New York station WWOR had won bidding processes for the right to simulcast NFL Network games involving local teams.

The Patriots would become the first team in NFL history to go 16-0 in the regular season if they beat the Giants on Saturday. Outside of the Boston and New York areas, the game was originally scheduled to be broadcast only on the NFL Network, which is available in fewer than 40 percent of the nation's homes with televisions.

On Wednesday, the NFL announced the matchup would also be aired on CBS and NBC.

"WCVB-TV/DT and sister station WMUR-TV and the NFL Network have reached a mutually satisfactory resolution of the issues resulting in WCVB and WMUR's loss of exclusive local broadcast rights for Saturday night's Patriots-Giants game," WCVB said in a statement released late Friday night.

WWOR did not immediately return an e-mail seeking comment.

This will be the first three-network simulcast in NFL history and the first simulcast of an NFL game since the inaugural Super Bowl in 1967, when CBS and NBC televised the meeting of the champions of the newly merged National Football League and American Football League.

The NFL, which has feuded with major cable companies over their refusal to include the network in a basic package, had resisted calls to make Saturday's game more widely available. But pressure from lawmakers mounted in recent weeks, and the league reversed course Wednesday.


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

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