Thursday, April 30, 2009
So it doesn't appear as if this whole mess is getting solved within a day (or ever), so you might want to watch the last day of NFL Network on Comcast. Comcast has even been running a banner across the screen stating that fact, and the Philly Inquirer has even more quotes from this blame game....
Football fans who subscribe to Comcast Corp.'s extra-cost sports package seem likely to lose one of their favorite viewing choices at 11:59 tonight - the 24-hour NFL Network.While, I'd certainly like to be able to watch the Thursday Night Football games this year, and the extra Thanksgiving game, I have to be honest here. I rarely watch the NFL Network, outside of the Combine and the Draft, and there are plenty of other channels within the Sports package (including about 8 Fox Sports, the MLB Network and NBATV). Why this is such an issue is beyond me, but I guess you have to take a stand at some point.
The two organizations, which have battled publicly and in court, have not reached a new carriage agreement, and the old one expires.
Comcast has asked the National Football League to continue the carriage under terms of the current contract. The NFL has refused and would like Comcast to place the channel on a general-interest tier that does not require viewers to pay the extra $7 a month. About two million people get Comcast's sports package.
"Comcast wants to carry NFL Network, and we have offered to carry it under the terms of our current affiliation agreement while the litigation that the NFL brought against Comcast continues, but the NFL has not accepted our offer," Comcast's Sena Fitzmaurice said in a statement. "We believe our proposed extension is in the best interest of our customers and NFL fans so that they can continue to have the same access to the network that they now enjoy."
The NFL, according to officials and court documents, says it believes Comcast moved the network to a sports package to punish the NFL for not allowing Comcast to carry the eight live NFL games on its Versus sports channel and not allowing Comcast to negotiate for out-of-market NFL games. DirecTV, the satellite provider, exclusively carries the Sunday Ticket of out-of-market NFL games.
"As of right now, the NFL Network will no longer be available at midnight [Thursday] to Comcast," NFL Network spokesman Dennis Johnson said. "We are open to negotiating with Comcast at any time so that fans can watch the NFL Network on a wide level of service at no extra cost."
Oh and there is a plus to all of this. Comcast sent a letter out about the dropping of the network, and offered me either a Free Internet Speed Upgrade for 12 months, or 6 Free Movie Coupons. So I've got that going for me.....which is nice.
Comcast viewers could lose NFL Network tonight (Philadelphia Inquirer)