Thursday, April 09, 2009
The hatred between the NFL Network and Comcast is certainly not a secret, and the two company's bigwigs took an interesting angle in the battle recently. Last week, NFL Network's Steve Bornstein decided to submit an op-ed to the Philadelphia Inquirer, and the newspaper included it in their paper (and online). Well yesterday, Comcast VP David Cohen decided to rebut the NFL Network with one of his own. Here's a brief snippet from both pieces....
NFL Network: "Based on fan interest, NFL Network should be broadly available to cable subscribers. Comcast, however, wants to continue to limit access to the network by charging consumers extra for it. Comcast collects this extra charge to provide NFL Network as part of its sports package.Well that's nice, isn't it? One is claiming discrimination, and the other is claiming they are dedicated to the fans. Look, we all know that this relationship is going to end on May 8th, and there's nothing either party can do to change that. Let's just let bygones be bygones, and leave the trash talking out of it.
We strongly disagree with this policy. But Comcast refuses to reach a new agreement with NFL Network that would make it available to a larger number of subscribers without the extra monthly fee.
Comcast discriminates against networks such as ours because we are independent. Do you know why you get the Golf Channel and Versus as part of your basic cable service? It's because both are owned by Comcast, which makes the company's channels broadly available."
Comcast: "Comcast currently makes NFL Network available on the dedicated sports and entertainment tier. We view this as the best and fairest way to provide NFL Network's expensive programming, because viewers who want to watch the channel can do so, while those who prefer not to aren't forced to cover the network's high costs.
NFL Network provides only eight live, regular-season, out-of-market games a year. The vast majority of the network's programming is filler such as training-camp coverage and draft analysis, which may interest the super-fan, but not most cable customers. And yet the network wants to charge higher fees than virtually any other national cable network.
Since the NFL doesn't like the terms of the contract it signed, it has repeatedly asked the courts and government authorities to require that the terms be changed. Contrary to the NFL's recent claims, though, the Federal Communications Commission has made no final determinations as to whether the NFL's claims of discrimination by Comcast are valid or bogus."
Comcast is locking football viewers out (Philadelphia Inquirer)