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NFL Rebroadcast Rules

Broadcast Rights

    Three television networks (FOX, CBS, NBC) are paying a total of $11.6 billion to broadcast NFL games through the 2011 season. Cable network ESPN is paying $8.8 billion for broadctasing rights through the 2013 season. Additionally, the NFL Network airs eight games per season.

NFL Network

    The league-owned cable network began airing rebroadcasts of NFL games during the 2006 season. The network picks four games that carried the most compelling storylines and condensed them into 90-minute versions that air mid-week. The network also re-airs "classic" games, such as playoffs and Super Bowls.

News Usage

    Regularly scheduled television news media outlets are permitted use of 2 to 3 minutes of game video during the season, provided it falls within a 48-hour window following the game.

Church Controversy

    Prior to Super Bowl XLI in February 2007, the NFL sent notice to several churches about the potential copyright violation of planned game-viewing parties. The league acknowledged a loophole that stipulated that the viewings would not be in violation provided (a) the congregation was not charged admission fees and (b) the viewing apparatus was similar to television sets that would commonly be found in a private home.

1958 NFL Championship

    The Baltimore Colts 23-17 victory over the New York Giants in the 1958 NFL Championship is considered by many to be the greatest pro football game every played. On December 13, 2008, ESPN and NFL Films produced and aired the game in the form of a two-hour documentary, complete with colorization of restored footage.

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About the Author

John Chandler has over a decade of experience as an award-winning sports anchor, reporter, producer and writer. He has covered nearly every major sports event, from the World Series to the Final Four. A graduate of Boston University, he currently lives in Boston.

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