ESPN sold the over-the-air broadcast rights to the Vikings-Packers game to KARE-11, an NBC affiliate. Typically, ESPN's Monday Night Football games in the past have been carried by the ABC affiliate.
There was little fanfare with an announcement from KARE-TV Monday. The station's own release was relatively short and to the point – the Vikings-Packers game on Monday night, Nov. 14, will be broadcast on KARE.
To those unfamiliar with the Twin Cities channel designations, KARE is the local NBC affiliate. The problem? NBC doesn't carry Monday Night Football.
Apparently something in the process of bidding out game packages in the NFL has changed. Local stations bid the preseason packages for games that aren't nationally televised. For most teams, that is typically three of the four games.
When NFL Network carries a game, stations in the local market can bid to be the one that carries it only in the immediate TV markets of the teams playing. The Monday night games are played on ESPN, which is owned by Disney. One of Disney's other properties is ABC, including KSTP-TV in the Twin Cities.
Whether this turn of events has a precedent, it hasn't come in the Twin Cities market. When ESPN began carrying games, the games were always simulcast on the ABC affiliate for those who didn't have access to basic cable.
Considering this is mid-November, the local NBC station may be causing some waves of its own. Not only will the ESPN be pimping out its own product, but it will be promoting out ABC-TV shows as well on the air of an NBC station in Golden Valley.
What makes the announcement more interesting is that Nov. 14 falls in the middle of the ratings sweeps for network television. Those typically run from the last few days of October to the end of the third weekend of November.
While the release did not include a dollar figure that was paid by KARE to get the broadcast rights to the game, which will be played at Lambeau Field, it did point out one overridingly relevant fact. At the end of the release, it was noted that when the Vikings played the Packers Oct. 24 (on NBC's regularly-scheduled Sunday Night Football
), it set a network record for a regular-season game with a whopping household of rating of 51.5. It was noted that last February's Super Bowl drew a rating of 54.1.
They may be making history Nov. 14, as Vikings and Packers fans within KARE's reach will be asking "Are You Ready for Some Football" (on NBC).
A new level of government is looking to circumvent (or derail) the Ramsey County stadium proposal. Ramsey County's Charter Commission sent out notice Monday of a meeting set for 6 p.m. Wednesday at Vadnais Heights Common in which the commission will vote on a resolution to require the proposed half-cent sales tax in the county be brought to a vote. The charter commission, however, doesn't wield any power over the county or the Legislature. Its primary focus is centered on requested changes to the county charter and what local matters should be brought to a vote. It is expected that the resolution will be passed. At that point, opponents will have to 45 days to get 10 percent of the signatures required to stop the motion from being on the ballot. In the case of Ramsey County, that will require 28,000 signatures.
Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier will be the guest speaker at a breakfast event to benefit the victims of the tornado that ripped through North Minneapolis. The breakfast will run from 7:30 to 9 a.m. Wednesday, June 15 at the Ukranian Event Center, 301 Main Street N.E. in Minneapolis. Tickets for the event are $30.
For those who need to get their gambling on, the sports betting site Bodog has set a betting line on what team will end up with Plaxico Burress, the wide receiver whose loaded gun in a New York City hot spot bought him 20 months in the penitentiary. The Eagles are solidly in first place in the betting odds at 3/2. Apparently wearing a Philadelphia Phillies hat when released in the jumping arms of agent Drew Rosenhaus doesn't hurt his chances of finding it Sunny in Philadelphia. The New York Jets are second at 3/1 and St. Louis is third at 11/2. Needing a big target for Sam Bradford makes sense. However, tied for fourth at 15/2 are the Redskins and the Vikings. It's unclear how the Vikings odds got so low, but here are the full odds.
Rosenhaus also represents Terrell Owens and Sidney Rice. The agent said on Twitter that Rice's hip is no longer a concern and the receiver is in the best shape of his life. Rice could be an unrestricted free agent if the pre-2010 rules of free agency are applied this year.
John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.