Report: NFL Network to Cut 5 Shows After Slashing Budget by $20 Million

NFL Network
The Associated Press

The NFL Network has decided to slash five television shows amidst a massive $20 million budget cut, according to the New York Post. Those cuts have also reportedly led to tension with some of the network’s key personalities.

According to the New York Post:

The less-than-hoped-for budget has made negotiations with on-air personnel tense, and there is a feeling some will either not be retained or be forced to take pay cuts, according to sources.

The moves have been made as part of the NFL’s overall budget, which includes what is expected to be an amped-up celebration of the NFL’s 100th season this year. NFL Network has apparently absorbed part of the project into its budget.

NFL Network is definitively cutting five programs. Sanders’ ’21 & Prime,’ ‘Power Rankings,’ ‘Pick ‘em,’ ‘Playbook’ and ‘Mic’d Up’ are off the air. The future of the weekend edition of ‘Good Morning Football’ is in question.

However, the NFL Network isn’t looking at the budget cuts as a reduction. Instead, they’re citing budget increases in other areas and seeing the move as a reallocation of resources ahead of the league’s 100th anniversary celebration.

“As part of an increased investment in programming and content for 2019, NFL Network will unveil several shows geared towards a celebration of the NFL’s 100th season,” Alex Riethmiller, an NFL Network spokesman told the New York Post. “These shows will replace a handful of existing shows from our 2018 schedule.”

According to the Post:

During the Super Bowl, the NFL kicked off its 100th season by spending huge sums — likely well into seven figures, according to those with knowledge of the production — to produce its well-received NFL dinner party commercial.

The ad featured NFL stars from today and yesteryear in a difficult and expensive feat to pull off in one setting. It was directed by Peter Berg. The NFL will now add to that during its 100th season celebration.

Though it is unrelated, the NFL Network is in a carriage fight with DirecTV Now and AT&T U-verse, which pulled the channel off their air.

It’s possible that the NFL is using the planning of its 100th anniversary celebration, as a cover for a reconfiguration of the NFL Network. Or, the moves are just what the NFL says they are. In any event, the league will definitely want to complete its new line-up and have NFL Network back on U-verse before the season starts in September.

Follow Dylan Gwinn on Twitter @themightygwinn

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