NFL Getting Into TV Business

Apparently tired of seeing other networks profit from its own product, the NFL will launch its own TV network this fall.

In an age where baseball all-star games are ruled ties, ABC loses tons of money on the Stanley Cup and the ratings for the NBA Finals are comparable to "Brady Bunch" double-shots on TV Land, the NFL has no such problems.

The popularity of the league has led to a slew of related programming -- from showing classic games on ESPN channels to studio shows on more channels than actually carry NFL games.

Not wanting to miss out on a good thing, the NFL is launching its own TV network this fall. While the full schedule of NFL-TV hasn't been announced, the network announced Thursday that it has tapped ESPN's Rich Eisen to host a one-hour studio show at 7 p.m. Central time weekdays.

The network will start as part of DirecTV's NFL Ticket, but is expected to branch out on its own by 2004 as a pay cable channel like HBO or Showtime.

FRIDAY NOTES
* Red McCombs promised to bring the NFL back to San Antonio and he was right. The Dallas Cowboys announced Thursday that they will conduct their training camp in San Antonio this year. The camp will feature a scrimmage with the Texans in early August.
* Former Vikings honcho Roger Headrick is working behind the scenes to try to get an arena league team in St. Paul as early as next year to play in the Xcel Energy Center. Hopefully Headrick won't surround himself with nine other owners.

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