NFL's New Rule Roils Local TV

BYLINE: Charles Elmore
DATE: April 7, 2006
PUBLICATION: Palm Beach Post, The (FL)
The NFL's 32 owners have voted to boot local TV crews off the sidelines at games starting this fall, and stations are not happy about the way it was handled.

The result of the vote in last month's owners' meetings in Orlando was that local stations will no longer be permitted to shoot live game action, capture reactions of players and fans at field level, or pick their own interview subjects immediately after a game.

"We want to interview the person we think is important after a game, not who the NFL decides to put on a podium," said Steve Hunsicker, executive news director for WPEC-12 in West Palm Beach, a CBS affiliate that carries AFC games. He wishes the NFL had talked to the stations to find a solution, perhaps a pool-camera system similar to that used in court cases.

Miami Dolphins officials said they did not initiate the move, which was spurred in part by the use of game action on TV station Web sites in other cities, but they joined the other clubs in a 32-0 vote for the change. "In fairness, the concerns of the local TV stations were raised in the meeting," Dolphins spokesman Harvey Greene said. "We understand their viewpoint and it was discussed. The need to control the overall use of game footage was the overriding factor."

Story courtesy of and copyrighted by The Palm Beach Post

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