One of the hallmark shows for the National Football League is over, as HBO has announced that the program “Inside the NFL” will not be coming back for the 2008 season. HBO Sports President Ross Greenburg announced on Wednesday that the finale for the show will be on February 6th as they will recap Super Bowl XLII and the Giants win over the Pats. After that, the show will be no more.
“Inside the NFL” was a staple not only for HBO, but for football fans across the country. It was a show before its time, on the air for 31 years, and a place where fans could tune in on Thursday night and catch highlights of their teams game from Sunday (or Monday) and listen to player interviews as well as get picks from hosts like Hall of Famers Len Dawson and Nick Buoniconti.
After being one of the top NFL shows for year, the show began to lose steam, as they shuffled in hosts and never seemed to be the powerhouse show they once were in their heyday. Of course the explosion of cable TV, with the NFL Network leading the way as the leagues showcase for highlights and shows, likely spelled the final nail in the coffin for the show.
“It’s surprising in a way that it’s the last show on HBO because I thought it was very popular,” former host Dawson said Wednesday. “They let me know last weekend and asked me to keep the whole thing quiet because not many people knew it was coming to an end. I was shocked at first. But then when you think about it, I’m sure it’s just the right business decision (for HBO). When we started, this was really the first weekly show where you could see highlights of the games. But now, by the time the show comes out Wednesday, people have seen all the highlights on NFL Network or ESPN or ESPN2 or ESPN12 or whatever.”
So just like the days when shows like Monday Night Football would use their halftime to show highlights that fans most likely would not have been able to see on Sunday, another great NFL tradition has passed. Inside the NFL – you will be missed.