League says TV schedule can be flexible

Thursday, March 21, 2002

ORLANDO, Fla. -- The NFL remains confident it can build more flexibility into its TV schedule despite opposition from CBS and Fox to moving any of their late-season Sunday games to Monday night on ABC.

"There's a windfall in the number of games we have now," commissioner Paul Tagliabue said Wednesday as the NFL ended its annual meeting. "We don't think either network will give up much."

Also left hanging as the meetings ended was the question of playing outdoor Super Bowls in northern cities, specifically in New York and Washington. It was clear at these meetings that there isn't enough support for those games right now.

ABC has been pushing in recent years for the right to take late-season Sunday games for Monday night, largely because parity has left it with unattractive late-season games. In 1999, for example, its final game was between San Francisco and Atlanta, two teams that had been expected to be strong but finished with nine wins between them.

This year's schedule, with the addition of Houston, will have nine weeks with 16 games each, the most in NFL history. The bye weeks all will come between weeks 3-10, meaning the first two weeks and last seven will have full schedules.

One solution could be switching some secondary games with attractive plot lines to Monday night late in the season, rather than taking two obvious power teams from the Sunday networks.

Warner will host awards

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Rams quarterback Kurt Warner and singer Yolanda Adams will host the Dove Awards show for Christian music, the Gospel Music Association announced.

The show is April 25 at the Grand Ole Opry House, and will be aired on the PAX TV cable network.

Warner led the Rams to a Super Bowl victory in 2000, then lost it to New England in 2002.

-- From wire reports

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