NFL, exhibs huddle on plan to screen games


NEW YORK -- The National Football League has had discussions with National Amusements Inc. and other movie exhibition chains about screening live sports in digitally equipped theaters, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said Wednesday.

 Goodell told the Reuters Media Summit he has had talks with National Amusements president Shari Redstone, who in 2004 screened high-definition broadcasts of Boston Red Sox baseball games at her Showcase Cinemas in several New England cities.

 The cinemas brought in vendors to sell hot dogs, peanuts, beer, and souvenirs. The theaters also encouraged fans to loosen up as they would in the ball park.

 National Amusements is controlled by Redstone's father Sumner, who also controls Viacom Inc. and CBS Corp.

 Goodell said the NFL was interested in continuing the discussions as long as broadcasters' rights to air the games were protected.

 "We think ... that type of marketing could be very successful if we could balance the broadcast," Goodell said. He added that Redstone is in an interesting position because she works for a company that also controls a broadcast network. "We are continuing that dialogue," he said.