The NFL's ally in its epic struggle with the cable TV industry -- the satellite TV guys -- are using  air power in the battle for the eyeballs and wallets of America.

DirectTV will have a blimp traveling over the Tampa-St. Pete area tonight and over Orlando next week with a giant TV screen on it televising the NFL Network games you can see if you're a subscriber to that service. Many standard cable subscribers don't get NFL Network -- you have to upgrade to another tier -- and that has been a point of contention, to put it mildly, between the league and the cable big guys because it obviously reduces the football network's reach. And, oh yeah, limits revenue, too.

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The first game-in-the-sky will be tonight, Denver-Houston, with the blimp hovering over Florida's west coast. Those lucky folks in Tampa-St. Pete will get to watch Saturday's game as well. Then the blimp floats on over to Orlando. The TV screen is 70 feet-by-30 feet. No sound, though. Which is a real shame.  ave you heard Bryant Gumbel and Cris Collinsworth?

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