It's no secret the NFL kills it in the television ratings department. But the league took at least a little heat when it started placing prime-time games on its own network six years ago. After all, NFL Network's cable reach was tiny at that point, at least compared to ESPN and the three networks that aired NFL football the rest of the time.
For years, the numbers for "Thursday Night Football" couldn't skyrocket because huge numbers of fans simply couldn't gain access to the games.
But instead of responding to angry fans and critics by shying away from broadcasting key games to smaller audiences, the NFL strong-armed giant providers by adopting a larger-than-ever schedule for 2012. Essentially, TNF has become a weekly fixture now. That helped the league win two separate staring contests with Cablevision and Time Warner Cable earlier this year.no comments