Friday, July 13, 2007

NFL Network Cuts Comcast Deal

In big blow to the NFL Network, their new deal with Comcast will see the fledgling network carried on a little-subscribed-to digital tier. After the NFL granted their own network a package of 8 regular season games, they had hoped to be added to basic cable. It could be worse though. They could be on Versus.

from Braodcasting & Cable

The three-year-old NFL Network has quietly cut a deal for this season with Comcast Corp., the largest U.S. cable operator, to carry its controversial package of eight live football games on terms far weaker than the league is seeking.

Meanwhile, the NFL Network will go dark on Time Warner Cable systems recently acquired from Adelphia Communications in a bankruptcy sale.The Adelphia dispute is part of a larger duel in which the No. 2 cable operator is resisting paying the NFL network's high license fee and carriage demands. Time Warner has said the NFL is looking for a 250% increase in those fees.

When the NFL Network’s new eight-game, Thursday-Saturday package kicks off on Thanksgiving, Comcast will air the games on a digital tier available to fewer than one third of its subscribers. The league has been seeking carriage on basic cable, which would be available to nearly all of the operator's 23.3 million subscribers.