Editorial: Can’t wait for the Pack on TV? Curb your enthusiasmThe 2011-12 NFL season kicks off next Thursday night, Sept. 8, with the Green Bay Packers opening at home in Lambeau Field against the New Orleans Saints. The nationally televised game on NBC features the past two Super Bowl champions — the Packers earlier this year and the Saints the year before.
The 2011-12 NFL season kicks off next Thursday night, Sept. 8, with the Green Bay Packers opening at home in Lambeau Field against the New Orleans Saints. The nationally televised game on NBC features the past two Super Bowl champions — the Packers earlier this year and the Saints the year before.
As always, a new Packer season is another reminder of how loyal fans in River Falls and western Wisconsin get shafted when it comes to trying to watch their team.
Again, this year, at least a handful of Packer games will be blacked out. In their place, Packer fans will have the dubious pleasure of watching the Brett Favre-less Minnesota Vikings (the “home team”).
The NFL’s grip of TV contracts ignores state borders and sticks River Falls in the greater Twin Cities advertising market. It’s about money, not about quaint values like state allegiance and rooting for the home team.
Comcast, the cable-TV provider in the River Falls area, has come out with a tentative list of televised and blacked-out Packers’ games. Corporate Affairs Manager Dave Nyberg cautions that week-by-week scheduling changes made by the NFL and programing decisions made by local TV affiliates in the Twin Cities may affect actual telecasts.
Satellite-TV customers in rural River Falls are affected just like cable-TV subscribers when it comes to Packers’ games.
Here’s the list of expected Packer blackouts: Carolina Panthers, Sunday noon, Sept. 18 (Fox); Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Sunday noon, Nov. 20 (Fox); New York Giants, 3:15 p.m. Sunday Dec. 4 (Fox); Oakland Raiders, noon Sunday, Dec. 11 (CBS); Kansas City Chiefs, noon Sunday, Dec. 18 (Fox); Detroit Lions, noon Sunday, Jan. 1 (Fox).
Nyberg says the NFL, depending on how the season goes, can alter game times. These changes could affect several blacked-out Packer games. If that occurs, conflicts with the Vikings would be eliminated and the Packer games shown.
On the other hand, Nyberg said there are three Packer games not in conflict with the Vikings, but that the Twin Cities TV affiliates have yet to confirm they’ll carry. Those are: Chicago Bears, 3:15 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 25 (Fox); Denver Broncos, 3:15 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 2 (CBS); and San Diego Chargers, 3:15 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 6 (Fox).
Several bars and restaurants in River Falls pay extra for a satellite-TV service that delivers all Packer games. And there’s always Packer radio broadcasts on local station WEVR with announcers Wayne Larrivee and Larry McCarren cheering on the true home team.
So, it promises to be an entertaining season of football, even if the view from week to week is occasionally obstructed.
The Journal’s online poll question this week asked: It’s been another above-average hot summer. Do you think human activity has anything to do with global warming?
Early results Tuesday show:
--YES, almost all reputable scientists say the burning of fossil fuels is --big contributing factor, 48.5%
--NO, it’s just normal weather pattern fluctuations, 45.5%
--MAYBE, but the degree of manmade causes hasn’t been precisely determined, 6.1%
To vote on this issue, go to www.riverfallsjournal.com.