1) Well, he can hope that ratings for '86 go through the roof. But even if they do he would be wise to take what CBS and NBC will give him and pray that ABC stays with Monday Night even at distress prices. Cable TV still reaches only 47% of the country. There's no way Turner or ESPN could justify the big bucks for all 21 Monday Night games.
2) He can go for a profit-or revenue-sharing deal, similar to NBC's arrangement with the 1988 Seoul Olympics. Or he can try to raise more revenue with some form of corporate sponsorship. Toyota Night Football anybody?
3) He can sell—and no doubt will sell—the five non-Monday-night specials to HBO or ESPN. But if HBO gets the games, he might be asking for special new problems. There would be no TV commercial breaks, and HBO games would be 38 minutes shorter, on average, than normal ones. The NFL Players Association would probably protest on the grounds of insufficient timeouts.
NBC Sports president Arthur Watson says the next NFL deal will be a cornerstone upon which future sports rights agreements will rest. And in this deal the networks hold the trump cards.