RUSH: Greg in Chicago, welcome to the EIB Network, sir. Great to have you with us.
CALLER: Mega Green Bay Packer dittos from the blue state of Illinois, Rush. Thanks for taking my call.
RUSH: Thank you.
CALLER: You mentioned the writers strike earlier, and the only thing that matters in my heart about the writers strike is: Will it affect the next season of ’24’? In the same vein: What is the status of 1/2 Hour News Hour? Will it come back?
RUSH: I think the option on the 1/2 Hour News Hour has expired.
RUSH: I don’t think it will come back. ’24’ has been suspended indefinitely. They have eight episodes in the can. They got a late start this year. Normally, by this time they’ve got close to ten episodes, not fully post-produced, but they’ve got them filmed. They haven’t added the music, but now they’re at eight, and ’24’ is a series that runs consecutive weeks.
RUSH: There are never any repeats. There are never any dark weeks. So they can’t start on their debut date. I think their date was January 13th this year, their debut date. They can’t start on January 13th because they’re not going to have enough episodes to go.
RUSH: Normally, they start off with four episodes in two nights. That would eat up half the inventory now. So they’re not going to announce a schedule for ’24,’ season seven, until the writers strike is over. By the way, Joel Surnow, who is the creator, head honcho of the program, thinks that this strike is going to go on a long, long time.
RUSH: He says one of the reasons is there’s just not a whole lot of sympathy for the writers, because a lot of them are doing very well. It’s hard to have sympathy for somebody showing up at a picket line driving a Mercedes.
RUSH: He thinks that the producers are going to succeed in breaking the union here, and he’s been saying this publicly. They were distressed that the strike was happening. They’d finally gotten themselves on a roll after having a false couple starts with ideas, and then the strike happens, and so they’re shut down. Every show is shut down. Some shows are going to be able to come back because they’re not serialized. You don’t have to see the previous week to understand the current week or any following weeks.
RUSH: But until strike’s over and they start production again, nobody knows when the next season of ’24’ will air.
CALLER: (big sigh) Oh, well. I’ll just look forward to the season.
RUSH: You know, you feel kind of like I feel when football season is over.
CALLER: Yeah, that’s how I feel about it, too, especially my boys are doing great this year. So —
RUSH: How is it that you’re a Packer fan living in Chicago?
CALLER: Because I desp– Well, I can’t say… I shouldn’t say ‘despise’ Bear fans, but it’s a little long story, Rush, but I get to stick it to Bear fans by being a Packer fan.
RUSH: What’s wrong with Bear fans? Chicago is a great sports town. The fans show up and support losers all the time.
CALLER: That’s why!
RUSH: Look at the Cubs! They’re a great sports town.
CALLER: That’s exactly why! They keep supporting losing efforts year after year after year after year, and it’s like, ‘You know what? Don’t you guys understand? As long as you support it, you’ll never have a winner! Supply and demand. Free market. Capitalism. As long as you’re going to fill the seats, who cares what they put out there?’ (exasperated sigh) That’s why I’m a Packer fan.
RUSH: That’s amazing. You dislike a team because of the fans. The fans don’t play the game.
CALLER: Yeah, well.
RUSH: Frank Deford of Sports Illustrated — a long, long time ago, back when NBC televised AFC games during the day on Sunday (I’m going back to the eighties, Frank Deford — was a commentator on the Sunday NFL pregame show for NBC. I’ve never forgotten this. He was talking about this concept of ‘good sports town,’ and he said, ‘Let’s look at Chicago.’ He says, ‘It’s a great sports town. What makes it great? The fans go out and they support losers all the time! If your town had a laundry that wrecked your clothes every time you took ’em in, and you continue to wear the clothes, would we say, ‘Your town is a great laundry town’?’ (laughing) I just thought that was great analogy. Anyway, I appreciate the call out there, Greg. Packers are surprising a lot of people this year, but I think, Greg — are you still there, by the way, bud?
CALLER: Yes, I am.
RUSH: I think the road to the Super Bowl in the NFC is going to go through Dallas.
CALLER: Absolutely. I’m looking forward to November 29th: Green Bay goes to Dallas, and that should be a humdinger — at least I hope it will be.
RUSH: Speaking of which, I gotta see something real quick. That’s right, Thursday. All right, that game —
RUSH: — and December the 29th, the Patriots at the New York Giants. Those two games, keep a sharp eye here, folks, because those two games are on the NFL Network. They’re not on Fox, CBS, or NBC. They’re on the NFL Network, and the NFL Network is only in 35 million cable homes because the league is having an argument with cable companies over where to put the NFL Network in the tier. The NFL wants it basic. The cable companies want to charge for it, and there is no movement. In the Era of Limbaugh, there is no movement between the cable companies and the NFL. (We might as well blame me for this.) The NFL and the cable companies cannot come to an agreement on the NFL Network, so if you’ve got satellite, you got it, if you have DirecTV. We’re talking cable companies. Cable is wired, I think, in 125 million homes, and only 35 million of them have the NFL Network. Now, the NFL thought they were pulling a smart move here by taking games away — starting on Thanksgiving night through the end of the season on Thursday and Saturday — from the network partners and putting them on their own network, they thought that would force cable companies to accede to their financial demands and get the network up, but the cable companies say, ‘Look, you guys are nothing but NFL Films reruns except for these football games that you have at the last month of the season, and the draft, and this sort of stuff, and it’s not worth what you want us to charge our subscribers for it,’ and nobody’s budging on this. So you’ve got the Green Bay Packers at the Dallas Cowboys on a Thursday night. Something’s got to give here. That’s a game that every football fan in this country is going to want to see, and then if the Patriots are undefeated going into the Giants for the last game of the season, which is only on the NFL Network… Keep a sharp eye on this, folks. This is going to be fun to watch, to see how this breaks and, if it does, who gives a little bit. Now, the theory is here in the Era of Limbaugh: Nobody will give, and the argument will go on, and on, and on for years, and years, and years unresolved.
RUSH: I don’t know what’s going to happen. The NFL thing and the cable networks, it’s Time Warner and Comcast that they’re having the argument — I know Comcast is one of them. I’m not sure of the other. I don’t think those games are even offered on local television in the markets of the two teams playing. Yeah, so people in Green Bay and Dallas, if they don’t have it on cable, if the cable company doesn’t carry it, then they’re SOL, as we say in sports. So I don’t know what’s going to happen. Somebody’s going to have to — it’s too big an opportunity. I would guess, depends on who the fans blame. If the fans are sufficiently informed to know that the NFL is withholding the game, not the cable company, then the NFL’s going to get pressure. If the fans think the cable companies are the villains, then they’ll have to cave. Something will work out, in the Era of Limbaugh, what ultimately is the best thing, genuinely, generally — there are exceptions — happens.
RUSH: There’s another factor that’s going on here in the NFL versus the cable companies on the NFL Network, and that’s NFL Sunday Ticket, which is only offered on satellite, and that doesn’t please the cable guides at all. I think people are going to end up blaming cable companies on this more than anybody else, you watch.