Former Bengals wide receiver and current horribly-low-budgeted figure-head for a local dealership (the name escapes me), will be remaining in his seat for the new Inside the NFL on Showtime. The news that Inside the NFL was leaving HBO crushed me. I loved it. Often against the guidelines of bloggers, I hadn't a complaint. I loved the production, the commentators, everything. HBO paid 8 million a year for the rights to use game footage (aka highlights), along with the 20 million production costs.
Time Warner released that, as of December 31 2007, HBO has over 38 million United States subscribers -- that also includes Cinemax. We had a hell of a time trying to track down subscription numbers for Showtime Networks (which includes The Movie Channel), but this comparative piece roughly estimates around 32 million subscribers.
Breaking it down further, the fourth quarter numbers in the 2007 (in the link above), state that HBO has 28.9 million subscribers in comparison to 15.5 million Showtime subscribers. Since HBO was the one that dropped Inside the NFL -- rather than the reverse -- along with the NFL Network's declining appeal while cable companies stick to their guns and the Network negotiates with ESPN to broadcast their games on the Classic network, the amount of households that the NFL product reaches continues to decline. Collinsworth will be joined with James Brown instead of Bob Costas (contract with HBO and NBC), with Phil Simms -- yea, let's see that Simms/Collinsworth chemistry. Then again, if Collinsworth dealt with Dan Marino...
I'm not sure if I'll make the move to Showtime -- to be honest, I still really like HBO. And since we're paying 4.03 a gallon for gas, on average, in the Cincinnati area, I'm not even sure I'll keep HBO. Hey, I love my movies and HBO has been that "go to" channel when the other 953 channels show utter boring crap.
Speaking of which, saw Jumper this weekend. I liked it, could have been better. The thing I hate about a book-to-movie adaptation is that, in most cases, you have to read the book to discover the more interesting back stories, or the details that makes the primary story more integrated with the characters. Don't get me wrong, I read a lot of books. But not everyone does. Since the actors are likely going on strike in Hollywood, I figure they'll be hitting the blogs. Nothing better than free advice to pass along to their producer buddies.