Athens, GA (Feb 6, 2008) - Fang's Bites has the news that after 31 years on the air, tonight will be the last broadcast of "Inside the NFL" on HBO. The wording of the news release is quite interesting:
“Inside the NFL has been a hallmark program for three decades on HBO,” said [Ross] Greenburg. “It has been a terrific franchise. But the television landscape has changed quite a bit over the last 30 years and we have to recognize the realities of the business. I’m not sure we had more than one competitor when the show launched in 1977.
“We wish NFL FILMS, our partner for the past 31 years, all the best with continuing the great tradition of INSIDE THE NFL. (emphasis added)”
If one were a conspiracy theorist and liked to read between the lines, it might be interpreted that the NFL basically made a decision to bring this show, or some variant of it, over onto the NFL Network. This might be to add to their programming, to have more control over the content, or maybe even to add some leverage over Comcast. The latter seems unlikely as HBO was always a premium pay channel not included in basic cable packages. It will be interesting to see how this plays out in the coming year.