The New York Post’s Phil Mushnick on the latest affront to his everyman readership. Because a Rupert Murdoch owned-concern would never use leverage to maximize profits.

How is this for trouble on the brew? The NFL Network’s exclusive Dec. 29 Patriots-Giants, an 8:15 Saturday nighter, is the last game of both teams’ regular season, thus it could be, among other things, to determine whether the Pats go undefeated.

Though the game will be on over-the-air TV only here and in Boston, the NFL Network is currently available in only 35 million of the nation’s 95 million cable, satellite and telco homes.

As one veteran TV ad salesman this week succinctly predicted for us in crude, but easy-to-understand terms, “More than half the country
will not see this game. The [bleep] will hit the fan.”

Had there been no NFL Network – at least one that created demand by pulling games from the schedule – Pats-Giants likely would have been a traditional Sunday afternoon or late-season Saturday over-the-air telecast, thus available in 85 to 100 percent of the country’s 112 million TV households.

Pats-Giants could be the kind of can’t-miss game much like last Sunday’s Pats-Colts. On CBS, that game was available to 96 percent of the country. Pats-Giants could attract a huge audience, too – for radio.

Though Mushnick makes a valuable point, I have it on good authority ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” telecasts are unavailable to those without basic cable, NBC’s “Football Night In American” cannot be viewed by persons without television sets, and the New York Post is somewhat tough to get through (but not impossible) if you don’t know how to read.