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Monday Night Musings April 21, 2005

Posted by David Card in Media.

I’m still trying to get my mind around Monday Night Football moving to ESPN. Regular readers know I’m a defender of broadcast TV networks for their relatively broad reach and their promotional capabilities. I also like live sports as one of the few TV genres that is pretty much Tivo-proof. Well, less affected anyway. And interactive-friendly, not that anybody’s going to be doing much of that soon.

Though MNF’s ratings have been degrading over the years, it’s still real, live Event Programming. The kind that belongs on broadcast networks. And it’s a sports event that is not just for 12-24 year-old boys. Moving it to ESPN may save ABC a lot of money – while it’s costing the much richer ESPN tons – but will limit its audience, and remove a tentpole program from the ABC lineup (though giving ESPN one, in addition to SportsCenter).

Wildcard guess: this is the first step in Disney selling off ABC. Nah, it’ll never happen…..

ADDED LATER: One of my favorite Timesman Richard Sandomir’s take.

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