Are you ready for some dual ball?
Why? Well, parity has shackled ABC into airing gridiron contests that aren't exactly tantalizing as the season wears on. Sure, tonight's game featuring the Philadelphia Eagles visiting Miami stars two teams with winning records, but how low do you think the ratings will be for next week's final Monday Night Football at Oakland with all of three victories this season?
With football dynasties lasting about as long as a Ted McGinley sitcom these days, it's hard to predict which games will matter come December. Neither of last season's Super Bowl teams have a winning record this year, while few would have figured that teams such as the Dallas Cowboys, Carolina Panthers, or Cincinnati Bengals would be fighting for a playoff spot this late in the season.
That's why ABC wants the ability to either have two games scheduled for Monday night so it can roll with the more favorable match-up or at the very least the right to swap its Monday pairing for a game slated for Sunday. Commissioner Paul Tagliabue mentioned the possibility on Thursday night's edition of Inside the NFL, which airs on Time Warner's
That won't sit well with Fox
As it stands, Disney has little to bargain with here. Even the football duds are producing rating numbers well above the rest of ABC's programming lineup. ESPN may command the industry's respect, but ABC's perpetual fourth-place finish in the ratings makes it fortunate to have any football at all to spice up its fall calendar.
Raiders of Sunday afternoon football? Bah! Let Disney stick to the Raiders it will feature next week.
Will Monday Night Football continue to suffer at the hands of parity in the NFL or is the elixir in the production? Why has ESPN fared so well while ABC has struggled? Was Roy Disney Jr. right about Michael Eisner? All this and more -- in theDisneydiscussion board. Only on Fool.com.