The eventual sale of the three NFL TV packages left on the market will create a major domino affect for some prominent football voices.
Currently on the block are the Monday night package, property of ABC; Sunday night, property of ESPN; and a new Thursday night sked.
Fox, which already has agreed on a new six-year deal for the NFL's NFC Sunday afternoon slate, is still pushing hard to acquire another NFL TV package.
Okay, if ABC loses "Monday Night Football," what happens to the team of Al Michaels and John Madden?
Neither CBS, which also signed a new six-year contract to carry the AFC package, nor Fox, is likely to bring the duo aboard. CBS Sports boss Sean McManus clearly is committed to his No. 1 team of Phil Simms (sources say if he hasn't already signed a new contract he will soon) and Jim Nantz.
If a new player (NBC, Turner, Comcast) swoops in to buy a package, it could look to sign Madden and Michaels, who would bring instant impact and credibility. Fox will not bring back Madden. The big man abandoned the Hollywood Howlers to jump to "MNF."
And Fox sports boss David (Thrill) Hill, along with executive producer Ed Goren, has a huge emotional investment in the top team of Joe Buck, Cris Collinsworth and Troy Aikman. Unless their value can be maximized by splitting them, the trio will remain together.
There has been talk about ESPN and ABC, both owned by Disney, switching packages. ESPN would air Monday night games, with ABC televising Sunday night contests. If that scenario came to pass, ESPN's team (Mike Patrick, Joe Theismann, Paul Maguire) and ABC's Madden/Michaels combo would stay put.
Don't look for that to happen. Not only has ABC suffered huge financial losses with "MNF," the suits are not going gaga for a Sunday night NFL schedule. They already have the blockbuster "Desperate Housewives" highlighting Sunday night.
The more likely outcome of this situation is that only one Disney property - probably ESPN - will hold on to an NFL TV package.
If this is the case, it would be shocking if Madden did not land in the ESPN booth.
How would the Foxies handle another NFL package? They could split up their current No. 1 team to create another marquee combo.
Buck and Aikman could work one package. The other? How about Collinsworth teaming with Marv Albert. Remember, they once were paired together at NBC.