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NBC is confident NFL lockout will end

Published May 15, 2011 1:34 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2011, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

If the lockout continues and there's no NFL season this fall, that would be really bad for a lot of TV networks, like CBS, Fox and ESPN. And particularly NBC, which would not only lose its Sunday prime-time lineup but the only genuine, big-time hit it has on its schedule.

And yet they seem oddly unconcerned at NBC. Or, rather, oddly confident that there will be an NFL season. NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt didn't flinch when he announced a fall schedule that included "Sunday Night Football."

"We're obviously very close to what's going on with this situation," Greenblatt said in a conference call with TV critics. "And we're feeling pretty optimistic that football will be there. I think worst-case scenario is we might have a delay of games for a few weeks."

Nobody else seems to be quite that optmistic. Where is Greenblatt's confidence coming from?

"(NBC Sports chairman) Dick Ebersol is the master here and I take all my sports cues from him," Greenblatt said. "And he's feeling pretty positive."

Well, as long as Ebersol is feeling good, it MUST be OK.

Oh, by the way, Greenblatt did say that NBC has a "contingency plan" it's working on with "high-quality, live-event, reality-type shows" in the event of a delay in the NFL season.

No word on what those might be.