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Changing the channel on ‘Monday Night Football’

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Mike Senyo
Staff Writer

“Are you ready for some football?” became a household question on Monday nights. Now after 35 years another question will arise: do we have cable to watch “Monday Night Football?”

After 35 years on ABC, “Monday Night Football” will be moving to the ESPN network.

Created in 1970 by Roone Arledge, “Monday Night Football” became part of American pop culture making the move a surprise to long time fans.

According to ABC, the company has lost hundreds of millions of dollars with the franchise despite high ratings.

ESPN agreed to an eight year deal with the NFL starting in 2006.

ESPN will no longer be covering its “Sunday Night Football,” which NBC has now taken over and will air in 2006 as well.

ABC could not generate enough advertising revenue to cover costs which forced the change.

Although the move came as a shock, viewers seem satisfied with ESPN’s coverage.

“I feel that ESPN does a better job in their coverage and hopefully they will get rid of John Madden,” senior Gabe Segovia said.

“The broadcasters add a special element and make football more enjoyable to watch,” he added. “ESPN has the better broadcasters and sideline analysts.”

However, the change is met with a lot of criticism.

“It’s like a part of my childhood,” junior Kevin Knosp said. “I don’t like my routine to be messed with.”

The change is also affecting business professionals, not just college students.

“I’m a poor college graduate, how am I supposed to watch the game if I don’t have cable?” ULV alumna Nicole Nash said.

Many critics see the switch from basic TV to cable as another way for big companies to make money.

“You are taking a show off of a major network, I feel that you will lose more people,” Dean of Admissions Ana Liza Zell said.

The ESPN network and ABC are under the same company (Disney) and are happy to be keeping the Monday night games under their corporate umbrella, according to Disney executives, in an article by the Los Angeles Times.

Both NBC and ESPN will have game time start earlier.

According to the Los Angeles Times, NBC executives did not want their Monday night games to interfere with “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.”

Although the move is met with negative criticism a diehard fan will get ESPN if he or she doesn’t already have it.

The question now is will everyone else follow?

Mike Senyo can be reached at msenyo@ulv.edu
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