The NFL Network’s reporting about the owners’ lockout of players is a way to shift assumptions that the channel will give knee-jerk priority to management’s position.
“I can’t change perceptions out there,” said Mark Quenzel, the network’s senior vice president for programming and production. “The network starts with the letters NFL.” But he said that league and team officials had never suggested that the network shade its lockout coverage their way.
Quenzel, a formerexecutive, added: “The only thing asked of us is to cover both sides straight and get our facts right. If people don’t look back and say that the NFL Network didn’t give us balanced coverage, it’ll be two labor agreements before we get over that. That would be bad business.”
The network’s quest to provide equal time could grow difficult if players balk at appearing.
The N.F.L. Players Association, which dissolved itself as a union last Friday and is now a trade association, has not advised players to boycott the network.