Broadcasters' nightmare: Super Bowl on cable

So how'd you watch the Super Bowl? Over your cable connection? Satellite? Telco-based FiOS or U-Verse? Over-the-top wireless? Or maybe you used an amplified digital TV antenna to pick up an over-the-air signal.

The uniquely American spectacle and football game (the two have become distinct) was carried over-the-air (in case you were too busy watching the commercials to notice) but that freeview could be a thing of the past when NFL licensing agreements with the broadcast networks expire in 2014, posits a story in the Hollywood Reporter. Assuming there is an NFL then (labor strife being the boogeyman that it is), the story suggests that Walt Disney Co.'s (NYSE: DIS) ESPN might have pockets deep enough to snatch the game from the grasps of its broadcasting competitors.

Just this notion is enough to cause concussive dizziness for broadcasters who, on one hand, insist that their programming is so valuable that cable operators should pay through the nose to get it because everyone watches the game on cable, and on the other hand argue that over-the-air is necessary for people to watch TV and that the FCC should not take away their spectrum for wireless expansion.

For more:
- Hollywood Reporter has this story

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