NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue recently stated that games not available on free TV may eventually be bought by fans on a pay-per- view channel.
In other words, if you don't want to watch Buffalo Bills all the time, there would be a way out, without spending several thousand dollars for a satellite dish. So far, Canadians do not have pay-per- view access.
But this isn't going to happen next season. It's probably at least three years down the road. There are about 12 million homes wired for the service in the U.S., with the number increasing by about 2 million annually.
The revenue potential is mind-boggling.
Every NFL game is telecast somewhere, but the maximum in league markets is five per week out of 14 and expansion is coming.
The NFL will start negotiating its new TV contract within weeks. CBS and NBC are expected to put up strong opposition to the pay-TV suggestions as it would cut into their audiences. The NFL is aiming at $23 million to $25 million per team from its new contract. Each now collects about $17 million.
* Speaking of TV, CBS has added Mike Ditka, Chicago Bears coach, to its panel of experts for the playoffs.
Injury update: Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Eric Allen is questionable and Houston Oilers defensive end Ray Childress will miss today's wild-card playoff games. Childress cracked a fibula three weeks ago and Allen sprained an ankle three weeks ago in dressing room horseplay. He was fined $6,000 by coach Buddy Ryan and has limped through the last two games.
The quotebook: Is this really Jerry Glanville speaking? The guy who insults other coaches, and has so annoyed Chuck Noll and Sam Wyche that neither will speak civilly to him? Maybe it's because Glanville's Oilers are playing the Steelers today.
"When you look at where they started the season and how far they've come, I think he (Noll) deserves (to be coach of the year)," Glanville said. "It really is a vote for 12 guys because their entire coaching staff did an outstanding job.
"When we beat them 27-0, I saw things that you see only in a championship team. They were down by 27 points and they were still trying to kill us."
* San Diego Chargers coach Dan Henning isn't "anointing" young Billy Joe Tolliver to start ahead of Jim McMahon next year, despite the youngster's late-season success.
"Those who are in a position to anoint have lifetime contracts," Henning said. "You know, popes, bishops and owners have the ability to anoint and go back on their positions - I don't."