Networks Plan for Football-less Fall With Alternative Programming

Advertisers look into buying airtime on other programs as well
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Since the NFL locked its players out two weeks ago, cable and broadcast networks have been planning for the worst: the loss of some or all football games next season.

According to the Wall Street Journal, networks have been preparing alternative programming in case the league and its players can't come to an agreement. Advertisers are following suit by looking into purchasing airtime for other marquee programming instead of football. Roughly $3 billion is spent on advertising each year and some have already bought commercials on Viacom networks as a backup.

Even though its possible that the lockout could be resolved before any games are lost, networks have to plan ahead of time for their fourth quarter. If there ends up being no football in 2011, then those networks who didn't make contingency plans could be in for a rough quarter. Advertisers typically purchase ad space in May and as of now its business as usual in that regard.

Networks such as Spike and MTV, who don't broadcast NFL games, are also planning options in case there is no football, in an attempt to gain from the other network's losses. Spike may broadcast a live boxing match on a Sunday night. -- Tim Baysinger