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NFL Cancels China Bowl, Again

The New York Times noted early this week that NFL will cut 150 jobs after the superbowl. Below are some excerpts:

The N.F.L., widely considered the most successful sports league in North America, will reduce its staff by about 150 employees after theSuper Bowl in response to the slumping economy, Commissioner Roger Goodell told staff members in a memo Tuesday.

The N.F.L. has a total of 1,100 employees at its New York headquarters, at NFL Films in New Jersey and at the Los Angeles offices of the NFL Network and NFL.com. Although voluntary buyouts are being offered now, the league will not determine the breakdown of cuts until after the championship game on Feb. 1.

Some franchises have started to trim their staffs, as well. The Denver Broncos made cuts earlier this year, and the New England Patriots recently laid off about 5 percent of the staff from Gillette Stadium — about two dozen people — in anticipation of reduced trade-show and special-event business there next year.

The Patriots also closed their one-person China office, which opened when the team was scheduled to play a game there. With the N.F.L. focusing its overseas plans on regular-season games in Europe, the China game has been canceled.

This is actually the second cancellation of the NFL China game this year. The 2008 game, which scheduled for August 9 between New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks, was called off by NFL this April, with the reason that they wanted to concentrate their “global resources” on next October’s regular season game in London.

NFL China has been concentrating on developing grassroots fans in local colleges by staging various events and also marketing themselves on TV and the Internet. Chinese fans can now watch games on CCTV and Shanghai TV, and a live game is also available once a week on Sina.com, a major Chinese web portal.

We’re suprised by the Patriots’ pullback from Beijing. But it all makes sense when looking at a bigger picture, where Honda’s withdrawal from F1, MLB’s recent job cuts and Arena Football League’s possible suspension in 2009 are all considered.

Related Reads:

  • New York Times: Feeling Pinch, N.F.L. Will Cut About 150 Jobs
  • LA Times: Arena Football League reconsiders suspending 2009 season

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3 Comments Post a comment
  1. b. cheng #

    There are NFL games on CCTV?!? I’ve rarely even seen highlights, let alone games, when are they on, I’ll have to watch! I’m not surprised by the Pats decision, since the NFL is struggling like everyone else and the Pats laid off people in the US, its kind of hard to argue to keep a China office open. Oh yea, I think you mean Aug 9, 2007, I think a lot of venues were kind of busy on Aug 9, 2008.

    December 13, 2008
  2. David #

    Cheng:

    CCTV has it every Tuesday night. And I think Guangdong TV has a live match every week.

    Check out the tv guide at http://www.nflchina.com :)

    December 15, 2008

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