Comcast: The NFL Is Trying To "Enrich Themselves" By Taking Games Off Of Free Broadcast

The moment of truth may be coming in the NFL Network/Cable showdown. This Thursday the NFL Network scored what is arguably the most interesting regular season game of the year (at least in the NFC): The 10-1 Packers vs. the 10-1 Cowboys. The trouble is, not a whole lot of people are going to be able to watch it outside of Dallas and Wisconsin.

Comcast, which recently sent a cease and desist letter to the NFL demanding that they stop encouraging customers to switch to their competitors (even though Comcast does offer the channel, albeit on a “sports tier” and not on basic cable like the NFL Network demands), has issued a statement condemning the NFL Network for “enriching themselves” at the expense of their fans.

David L. Cohen, Executive Vice President of Comcast says:

“Comcast offers the NFL Network to all of its interested customers today and they can watch every NFL game the league makes available on cable television. The fact is that the vast majority of our customers have elected not to receive NFL Network. Under our agreement with the NFL, which the league negotiated and signed, we offer the NFL Network as part of our Sports Entertainment Package. This is the best and fairest way to provide the NFL’s expensive programming to customers, because viewers who want to watch the channel will be able to see it, while others who prefer not to receive it will not be forced to pay.

While the NFL claims that it wants its games to be seen by the widest possible audiences, it’s actually their rules that limit which games fans can watch. It’s the NFL that designates which cities can have over-the-air broadcasts of specific games. It is also the NFL that decided to take these eight games off of free broadcast television and to try to enrich themselves at the expense of their fans by creating a multi-billion dollar asset called the NFL Network.”

Those are fighting words. As far as we can tell, most of the public doesn’t want their cable rates to go up so a few people can watch a few out-of-market NFL games, but feel free to let us know if we’re wrong.

Comcast Statement About NFL Network Carriage [CNNMoney]
(Photo:*Jame*)

Comments

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  1. emjsea says:

    First thing I’ve ever agreed with Comcast about.

  2. johnva says:

    If Comcast doesn’t like it, they should make the NFL Network a PPV channel. Then the NFL could charge whatever they want as long as people would pay it. Problem solved, and people who don’t want to pay for football wouldn’t have to.

    I imagine there is some sort of annoying legal problem with doing this, though.

  3. m0unds says:

    Then the NFL would complain that it’s PPV instead of a program line option. The NFL just doesn’t have a lot of common sense when it comes to shit like this.

  4. randombob says:

    They’re both wrong. The solution? A La Carte programming :-) .

    Shit, with the NFL this year, I’d have considered a PPV scheme; I’d have considered ponying up a few bucks to watch a few of the interesting games (of which only like 4 teams are involved). Saints vs. Niners? Eh, maybe $4 to watch Pats vs. Redskins would have been worth it.

  5. cmcd14 says:

    This is exactly the problem with the Big Ten Network. It’s all ridiculous. Everyone is trying to get more money. I just want to watch one game. Why should I have to pay for an entire channel if I only want to watch it for one game? That UofM vs App. State game was only on the BigTen Network and it was the biggest upset of the year. Yet there were very few people able to watch it.

  6. OldSpinDoc says:

    WHo wants to watch games on a network that ain’t hi-def?

  7. Tux the Penguin says:

    @cmcd14: Unfortunately, we’ll just have to rely on ESPN to see these great plays. But I agree, this is a plain miserly money-grab that will ultimately do more harm than good. The additional cost to broadcast a game to another market is very low (other than opportunity cost).

    I’m a huge football fan. But there was a space of three hours where there were no games showing in my market. If it were there, I would have watched it.

  8. dirty foreigner says:

    I have no interest in football. I watch soccer, and am more than willing to pay the extra $10 for the sports package that gets me Fox Soccer Channel. Would I expect football fans to cover the cost of me watching soccer? No.

    I think the $10 sports package actually lets me get the NFL Network!

  9. bigsss says:

    Watching football on Thanksgiving for many families is a tradition that goes many many years. Last year, many of us went nuts trying to find the 3rd game on our sets. I don’t remember who was playing, but I think it was a good match-up. It happened again this year with the Colts vs Atlanta. Luckily, it wasn’t a good match-up (at least on paper).
    One would think (hope) the NFL channel is a premium pay for fans who want to see their favorite team play instead of the “regional” games and not a nationally televised game on a holiday.

  10. headon says:

    The NFL should be paying us to watch the games. It’s hard to even tell whats going on with all of the onscreen ads and crap they throw at you. Comcast finally got one right.

  11. Falconfire says:

    @johnva: This is what Comcast wants to do, the NFL told them they cant it has to be part of basic programing which Comcast then balked at and said screw you.

  12. kimsama says:

    Yeah, I would totally pay a la carte to avoid a regional game that was scheduled at the same time as another game I’d rather watch (and thus will never be seen on networks — I’ve got no cable). In the D.C. area, you’re only going to get to watch the Skins. That’s nice, but I want to see my Steelers.

    My solution so far has been to head to a sports bar and give them a $5 for beer instead of giving it directly to a cable company or the NFL Network. But sometimes that’s just not doable (I can’t necessarily watch a game with a 8 o’clock kickoff on a Sunday night at the bar and still get enough sleep for work Monday). Ah, the travails of the modern age.

    P.S. the Big Ten network does, indeed, suck.

  13. DojiStar says:

    I second the no HD arguement.

    Why would I want to pay extra to receive football games in standard definition. WHY!!

  14. greatgoogly says:

    Part of the reason for the high cost of basic/extended basic cable is sports programming. A few years ago I had an extended conversation with a local Charter exec who told me that like 50% of his programming budget went to sports channels (ESPN, ESPN2, NESN, etc.) It’s almost $60 a month for extended basic (the tier with CNN, FOX, Discovery, History Channel, etc.). Anyhow I choose to keep only the broadcast channels and local public access and pay my $13 a month. I personally cannot stand sports programming especially “mookball” (aka NFL Football), especially since it’s costs are being subsidized by non-sports fans.

  15. johnva says:

    @Falconfire: OK, thanks. I’ve seen a lot of BS get thrown out there about this, so I wasn’t sure what the actual plans were (partly because I don’t trust the press releases from either side). If that’s the case then I’m all for Comcast dropping them.

  16. sleze69 says:

    Just give Comcast the sunday-ticket and this will all go away.

  17. jwissick says:

    Same thing that happened to boxing too. Now all the good fights are PPV. It was not always such.

    I could not care less thought as I detest football. A foot ball field is a waste of a good 100 yard shooting range.

  18. swalve says:

    @kimsama: The Skins and Baltimore. At least in one-team towns, there’s always at least one other non-home-team game to watch.

  19. bigdirty says:

    @dirty foreigner: You couldn’t have said it any better. Me being a supporter of Arsenal however, I have to pony up an extra $15/month to get Setanta along with FSC, so I don’t miss any of the fixtures.

  20. catnapped says:

    Same as what the YES network (which airs Yankees games) was trying to pull on Dish Network…put our channel on the basic tier no matter how few people actually want to watch it (or being that it’s regional and only available to some–ABLE to watch it) and either eat the costs or make all the customers pay. Dish offered to sell it separate to whoever wanted it but YES wants no part of that. Like any other cable network, it’s about potential eyeballs…may only be 1% that actually watch the channel, but those other 99% are potential viewers that the network doesn’t want to lose.

  21. LTS! says:

    Imagine that! This is not a new battle, but most people still support the NFL and it’s anti-consumerist methods.

    All of this from the league that has a way for you to view almost all of their games, only if you sign up for DirecTV.

    The league that allows you to play as Peyton Manning, as long as you buy a game from EA Sports.

    The league that demands new stadiums and tax concessions from the local market and then says thanks for nothing and blacks out home games (you’ve already paid for it, many times over).

    The NFL sucks.

  22. BG says:

    In previous years, the NFL had three games on CBS/Fox on Sundays, along with the Sunday and Monday night games. Let’s say you lived in New York City (where you can’t get the NFL Network on cable) and were a fan of the Indianapolis Colts. Sure, the Colts were on the NFL Network’s Thanksgiving night game, but you wouldn’t have been able to see them if they were on Sunday instead. CBS blacked out their early game to accommodate the Giants on Fox (local team playing at home means no opposing game on the other network), and the late game on CBS was Denver vs. Chicago, more likely to have been the “national” marquee game over Indy/ATL at 4PM EST anyway.

    While I agree that cable systems and the NFL Network should make nice, there’s no case to be made that the NFL Net’s poaching of one of the Sunday games means that people are getting less football per week than they did in pre-NFL Net days.

  23. Buran says:

    @OldSpinDoc: Um, the vast majority of viewers who don’t have hi-def equipment yet, and therefore don’t care? I have HD and love it; I’m not a sports fan but I love History/PBS/Discovery HD Theater and the like, but I respect the fact that most people don’t have HD yet. The “format war” for hi-def DVD isn’t helping either.

  24. bravo says:

    Um, I get the NFL Network in HD. Even when I had Comcast cable I got it in HD. But this is going to be a game of chicken that results in some fans being screwed. It really sucks for fans who want the network but are stuck in a cable company’s territory who doesn’t even offer it while at the same time being in a living situation that makes DirecTV impossible to get because of line of sight.

  25. Chimaera says:

    @OldSpinDoc, DojiStar: NFL Network is available in HD. Comcast even carries the HD feed. (YMMV)

  26. RokMartian says:

    @OldSpinDoc: On Dish , I get the NFL Network in HD.
    The real problem with NFL Network is Bryant Gumble doing a play by play.

  27. Frank Grimes says:

    This is how worng heaeded and dumb these agreements are. I have Dish Netwrok and I get both The NFL Network AND (huh?) the Big ten network which I had for two months before I discovered it. I am what I would consider a big sports fan but have yet to watch the BTNW and may watch a few games on the NFLNW and that’s it. I guess in May they think I need football highlights? What’s worse, my wife’s family who lives outside Columbus, OH and who lives and breathes OSU and the Big 10 can’t get the BTNW…makes perefect sense that I get it for free in Houston and could care less.

  28. stephenjames716 says:

    the nfl network is in HD with direct tv….and despite who is right here I love nfl network and am glad direct tv and them have figured out their differences.

  29. BigNutty says:

    Money, Money, Money.

  30. Crymson_77 says:

    the NFL, and Jerry Jones specifically, are a bunch of assmooks who are out for the dollar. Jerry has his new stadium and already he is screwing the little guy. His requirement to buy season tickets? $50,000, just to puchase the LICENSE to buy the tickets. So…when are we going to fire all these jackasses and try again?

  31. edrebber says:

    “This is the best and fairest way to provide the NFL’s expensive programming to customers, because viewers who want to watch the channel will be able to see it, while others who prefer not to receive it will not be forced to pay.”

    The same argument can be made for any channel offered by Comcast. No matter how much the NFL was charging, an additional cost would have to be passed on to the customer, unless another channel was removed.

    The over the air networks wouldn’t carry the NFL unless there was mass appeal. The NFL ceartainly has a larger audience than other channels like CSPAN.

    Comcast is at war with the NFL and the customer has to pay the price.

  32. forever_knight says:

    boo the NFL.

  33. Ausoleil says:

    @Frank Grimes: Your wife’s family can certainly get BTNW. All they need to do is drop cable and become satellite subscribers. Both providers have the network available for them to see.

    As for the NFLN, people have a choice to subscribe, but don’t, and then when a game that they actually want to see comes along that’s on NFLN, oh the shock and the horror of it all!

    This is not going to go away either – if the New England Patriots don’t lose the rest of the regular season, their last game is on…you guessed it….NFL Network.

  34. OldSpinDoc says:

    It is?!

    If so, my bad. I’m DirecTV and could’a swore it was in the upper – non-HD – channels.

    As for those who don’t have HD, I will say a short prayer for them that they see the light and move over to where all of Bryant’s warts and pimples may be clearly seen…

  35. mconfoy says:

    @jwissick: how long have you been a communist?

  36. Sir Winston Thriller says:

    Right. A la Carte is what I want. That way I won’t have to subscribe to the “Sports and Entertainment Pack” for sports I don’t want to watch, so that I can get Turner, Fox Movie Channel, IFC, and Sundance, here in Vermont.

  37. Rkit says:

    We have satellite no xtra charge for NFL net. or the Big10 channel. Life is good

  38. Hamm Beerger says:

    I have Comcast and they just turned up NFL network in HD a week ago (I’m in Denver). Of course, they didn’t bother to tell me they turned it on (usually they send one of the cable box messages) so I watched the Thanksgiving game in SD.

    Gah, I hate SD.

  39. silver-spork says:

    I’d love to see this whole debacle result in a la carte pricing for all of cable. I’d easily give up QVC and most of the kid’s programming in exchange for NESN or something equally unavailable here in Delaware.

    We do get the NFL network in HD through Comcast, although we have to pay $2/month (intro price) for the sports package.

  40. HOP says:

    i don’t give a crap if they never telecast another nfl game….i switched to college football……

  41. Trai_Dep says:

    @jwissick: “A foot ball field is a waste of a good 100 yard shooting range.”

    You know, if they combined both (or set Vick’s surviving attack dogs on the field every 2nd down), I’d PPV for that…

  42. bravo369 says:

    Correct me if I’m wrong but isn’t the Sunday night game always on NBC and the Monday night game always on ESPN? The regional games are always available. I always get every Jets and Giants game along with the Mon and Sun night game. As long as it stays like that, I don’t care what’s on NFL network. Besides, don’t they usually try to schedule the marquee matchups on Sunday night and Monday night football anyway which is available to the entire public?

  43. savvy999 says:

    The fact is that the vast majority of our customers have elected not to receive NFL Network

    Elected? Hmmmmm… I don’t recall ever getting a ballot from Comcast about the placement of the NFL channel–or any other garbage channel for that matter– on any tier.

    Hey Comcast, here’s a nifty business idea: ask your customers what they want, and then give it to us. Rather than have suits and spreadsheets decide for us, and then have to lie and spin to cover your ass when your bean-counters chose poorly.

    And then anyone wonders why Comcast stock has hit a 52-week low lately…. [tools.morningstar.com]

  44. Zgeg says:

    Everyone who REALLY wants the NFL network and doesn’t want to pony up the $7.95 a month to Comcast should do the following:

    Call Comcast, tell them that you are leaving because they are getting TOO expensive, they should send you to a Retention Rep, tell them you are paying too much and you are going to one of the satelitte companies because it is cheaper and you can get the NFL network for free as well.. Guess what they are going to do? I did this last year and got my Internet discounted for one year. I called this morning because the discount promotional period expired. They gave me a BETTER internet price than they did last year, AND they gave me the sports tier as well, no extra charge, good for 1 year, and the retention rep told me to be sure to call next year when this deal expires to see how much they can save me next year…

  45. mammalpants says:

    this is the best news soccer could ever get!

  46. elf6c says:

    Dear God, Comcast is on the side of angels on this one. What’s next- Verizon stops nerfing their phone’s features? BofA waiving unreasonable fess? Dogs and Cats living together? Mass Hysteria!

    The NFL has been pissing on cableco’s for nearly a decade now with the whole monoply granted to Direct TV, forming their own network of mostly repeats, and poorly done ESPN knock-offs. Now their scam is ratcheted up to stealing games from the legit networks. Next- you watch, they will take a playoff game. Ah the joys of a politically well connected monopoly.

  47. cheddar says:

    There wouldn’t be such an uproar if Dallas and Green Bay were playing how the experts predicted them back in April. Back in April when the schedule came out Green Bay was picked by most to be a 9-7 team. Many had Dallas in 11-5 area. If this game were the 6-5 Packers vs. the 8-3 Cowboys I doubt there would be so much whining.

    I agree this whole thing sucks. Cable can shove 3 shopping channels down my throat and charge me for them but they can’t find room for NFLN and add .75 to my bill for a network I’d actually watch? Cable should set up a basic 40 channel package and charge 29.99 for it….w/i those 40 channels they will shove at us the stations they know nobody would ever order on their own if given the choice. Then,for another 19.95 a person can hand pick another 15 channels that THEY want…NFLN included. And,if you happen to want all 344 channels such as mtv4 or ESPNAsia or The dirt buggy network then you can order the gutbuster package for $80 or whatever they charge.

  48. scoosdad says:

    @savvy999: “Elected? Hmmmmm… I don’t recall ever getting a ballot from Comcast about the placement of the NFL channel–or any other garbage channel for that matter– on any tier.”

    You “vote” for the NFL channel on Comcast with your dollars– by paying extra for Comcast’s Sports Entertainment Package. Or not paying extra for it; I guess that counts as a “no” vote.

  49. Dems Be Fightin’ Words!

  50. kimsama says:

    @mammalpants: This is a silly line of reasoning. Just because football isn’t on, people won’t jump to soccer.

    People who love soccer and hate football don’t become football fans just because most soccer isn’t widely televised (as evidenced by a number of posts by soccerr fans on this thread), so I don’t see why fewer football games on tv would have the effect of making people watch more soccer. (Which, btw, is not advertiser-friendly like football, and that’s the real reason you don’t see a lot of it without purchasing a package).

  51. zviadist says:

    BG:
    You make a good point when you say the NFL Network poached what would likely have been a 1pm regional start (Georgia + Indiana viewership) and placed it on the national television stage for potential viewers with NFLN access…

    The problem obviously is that they poached a game from FOX that would have been nationally televised and heavily promoted for their doubleheader weekend on free TV.

    I wouldn’t have that much of a problem with the NFL Network and their current fiasco if they had not re-upped the Sunday Ticket sweetheart deal with DirecTV (which means even less viewers) and just allowed cable to carry it also…CBS/FOX/NBC probably threw their weight around because they’d lose viewers as more people with cable would sign up for the Ticket rather than be stuck with a network OAK/MIA game or whatever.

  52. StevieZ83 says:

    the problem with what comcast is saying is that it was a normal channel on the basic package up until football season started this year. They made it a special package channel to make more money, and that is what the NFL is angry about. Comcast took it away without telling customers, and unless you watched those stations you didn’t realize the change. This is comcast playing games to make more money.

  53. SpdRacer says:

    The NFL (NO Fun League) and cable suck! I live in So. Illinois and get stuck watching the pathetic Rams, even though I would rather watch the pathetic Bears! I hate regional programming. Down with the NFL and down with cable.

  54. dragonpup says:

    @sleze69:

    Last I heard, the NFL wanted Comcast to pay somewhere between $3-4 BILLION for the Sunday Ticket thing that DirecTV has. Just to give you an idea what dealing with the NFL is probably like.

  55. savvy999 says:

    @scoosdad: I understand where you’re going with that line of reasoning. Of course I can pay more or go to another provider.

    I simply think the word ‘elected’ in his statement is curious, and implies some sort of active choice by the consumer about where the channel exists (basic vs tier), when obviously consumers weren’t ever consulted on any decision of that sort.

    Comcast actively made the choice for us to put it there, customers obviously don’t like it (since the company is bleeding subscribers), and now the Comcast knaves are blaming everyone else for their own bad business decisions.

    Personally, my Comcast bill went up 14% last month, and I did not get a single additional service or channel that I could notice. No NFL, no B10, no ESPNU. I’ll bet they added 400 more C-list movies from the 70s on OnDemand. Yeah, that’s what consumers want.

    Which is why when I get some time to be home during December for an install, I’ll be switching to DirecTV. I’ll gladly pay more to a company that actually gives you more.

  56. HunterJoules says:

    The biggest problem with the NFL Network is it’s only real asset is the games it broadcasts in late November through December. I used to have the NFL network before Comcast started showing it, and all it was the same 3 programs repeated over and over again. You would turn on the guide for NFL network and it would be “In Their Own Words: Jon Gruden” aired 5 times a day.

    From what Peter King wrote last week on SI, Comcast offered the NFL the chance to air the games as pay-per-view events, but the NFL network scoffed at it. They want everyone to subscribe to a 24/7 sports channel that only airs a total of 8 games a year.

  57. Fist-o™ says:

    Here’s one consumerist that thinks Cable TV as a whole is not worth the money. I cancelled it years ago and haven’t missed it since.

  58. ThePlaz says:

    I think the NFL wants $0.61 per subscriber per month. I would never watch NFL Network, so I would be happy to save $7.32 in a year. -Michael [theplaz.com]

  59. meske says:

    I wish Comcast had this backbone when negotiating with the YES network. Newsflash – not everyone in NY/NJ/CT care about the Yankees – yet we all have to pay for the network – on basic cable.

  60. Youthier says:

    I don’t care who’s fault it is – I’m pissed at everyone that I have to go to a bar Thursday to see what is potentially the Packer’s best matchup of the season.

  61. bravo says:

    For everyone whining about how they have to pay for shopping channels, chances are that you probably do not. I believe that QVC, for example, charges nothing in order to get on basic cable. In return for getting on basic cable, they pay commissions to the cable company for sales from their viewers.

  62. s35flyer says:

    Hey folks it called BUSINESS. I get NFL network in HD on satellite, cable blows…

  63. mknoll1 says:

    @ThePlaz:

    I think you are right about the price that Comcast pays the NFLN being about $.60/month (that is 60 cents for you verizon employees) As I understand it that is several times what other channels charge on a monthly basis to Comcast. I would wholeheartedly support the NFL if it allowed Comcast to pick up the channel during the season and charged them extra for not making it a full year network. but charging $.60 during the spring and summer is ridiculous for a network showing cheerleader competitions and black and white rebroadcasts of games that no longer have any living players, much less fans. However, during the season I certainly get much more than $.60 worth of entertainment from the channel since they replay 4 games per week in an edited format that gets the game down to about 90 minutes.

  64. BugMeNot2 says:

    their is FTA “Free to Air” it’s widely used. A site such as [www.freetoairreceivers.com] will help w/your selection of receivers. You can search for other sites, You’ll need a dish as well. The only hangup is you’ll need to “refresh” your receiver software from time to time depending on the receiver and your source of signal. this might help as a “how 2″ [www.prlog.org]
    and yes for you naysayers out there, you can also watch NFL as well as other “channels” w/the correct software

  65. MYarms says:

    Good take your games off of free cable. There’s no way I’m paying a dime to see these overpaid drug dealers, rapists and murderers run around in tights and grab each other’s asses and complain about how 50 million dollars a year isn’t enough money for them. F those people. I hope their greed kills them all.

  66. bravo says:

    @MYarms: Are you talking about CEO’s, Congressman, or football players?

  67. milw123 says:

    Here in Wisconsin, Milwaukee and Green Bay are considered the home market, so a local channel can broadcast the game. The poor saps in Madison or Eau Claire are SOL. Time-Warner has regrouped their sports channels recently and 4 that were part of the basic package will become a separate tier Jan 1st at $4.95/month. NFL Network will be included in this package, so if I want ESPNews or OLN, I’ll have to pay for it along with NFL Network.

  68. arras says:

    The NFL network is randomly available in my area (Arlington, VA – near DC). On Thanksgiving day, we were on the phone with comcast “support” for 30 minutes trying to figure out why NFL network was suddenly “not authorized” for our account, only to have it magically appear 25 minutes into our call. The next day? We were suddenly not authorized again.

    At least they gave us a $20 credit (how they arrived at $20, I have no idea, but money’s money)

  69. scampy says:

    Most people dont want to pay for the “sports tier” either just to watch 8 football games per year. A lot of people are like me in that they enjoy football but dont like or even hate basketball, baseball, tennis, golf, and any other sport that would be on the “sports tier” so essentially we would have to pay $15 per month or whatever it is to watch 8 football games a year. What a ripoff. Put it on regular cable

  70. scampy says:

    @OldSpinDoc:

    NFL network IS in hi-def at least on my Directv service

  71. scampy says:

    @kimsama:

    Or could it be that people dont want to watch a bunch of guys kick a ball around for an hour and only get to see 1 goal. Soccer is the most boring thing known to man next to NASCAR. Who wants to watch cars drive on circles for 4 hours. And there is no skill involved, just turn the steering wheel to a 45 degree angle and wait for your gas tank to empty

  72. guevera says:

    Comcast VP of screwing customers and lying to reporters, speaking about NFL network:
    “because viewers who want to watch the channel will be able to see it, while others who prefer not to receive it will not be forced to pay”

    I’ll bet this is the same scumbag who told congress and the FCC that al a carte cable would bankrupt the company.

  73. HeHateMe says:

    @guevera: read this article: [www.nytimes.com]
    It talks realistically about ala carte. It simply will not work as people think it will.

    Everyone sits here and whines about cable prices and how they want Ala Carte pricing/programming yet when cable tries to offer the Ala Carte idea with the NFL Network and other sports channels everyone cries and complains about it. Make up your mind people. It’s either they add it to the regular package and your monthly cost goes up or they add it to the sports package and your price will only go up if you add the channel. Which would you rather have? If you want my opinion, they should throw ESPN on the sports tier too so they can start to manage the cost of the basic packages.

  74. Alpine75 says:

    I see this more from the perspective of the shift the NFL has taken since Roger Goodell became commissioner. The NFL before was all about being accessible and friendly to the fans. Goodell is all about greed and doing what he can to make money for the league rather than furthering the sport and continuining the goodwill fans and the league have shared (something Baseball lost long ago.)

    Beyond his extreme stances on league discipline and his trying to force the fledging NFL network down cable customers throats Goodell has had a shaky start.

  75. quentin says:

    It may not seem like it’s to occur right now, but if the NFL doesn’t change it’s arrogant ways, then they will no longer hold the coveted title “national pastime”. Alienating fans with provider-exclusive packages and limiting your audience with your very own cable network is going to send a very bad message to fans. I wish the NFL would be a little more flexible in their choice of airing their games. I know it’s all about the money, but sooner or later if they don’t stop being greedy, you will lose the fans trust and will simply stop watching or going to the games.

  76. SteveBMD says:

    Just get on your Comcast high-speed internet connection and download a bootleg stream of the game off a torrent!! Problem solved!!

  77. tcolberg says:

    Comcast does packet shaping, delaying or preventing the transmission and receipt of BitTorrent data. Without a bit of tech know-how (encryption), the Comcast customer is screwed.

  78. loueloui says:

    I love football, but the NFL really are a bunch of greedy pricks.They are ruining the game. There is money pouring in from every conceivable angle, and the game is overloaded with advertising. How much more can you possibly want?

    What really blew it for me was when they required sideline photographers, which pay to attend the games and are not NFL employees, to wear jackets festooned with advertising slogans which they would sell ad space on. Must have more MONEY!

  79. emjsea says:

    Wow. It’s really pathetic how all the football fans want everyone else to subsidize you watching your craptacular “sport”. It’s bad enough I have to pay for ESPN, ESPN 2, and the farking Golf Channel so you idiots don’t have to get off the couch.

  80. Joe_Bloe says:

    solution for non-sports-fans who have good internet:
    1. turn off cable.
    2. watch local news on over-the-air HD.
    3. bittorrent everything else
    4. …
    5. profit! (with all the money you didn’t throw down the chute subsidizing other people’s expensive sports habits).

  81. kimsama says:

    @swalve: Indeed — I forgot about the Ravens (haha, try not to read too deeply into that ^_~). You’re right, makes it much harder to ever see a non-local game.

  82. samadelic says:

    Go ahead and leave out all us poor people. We the pigeons that stand and wait in line to buy the next hat or sweatshirt or maybe a jersey with our favorite players name and number. Take away my ability to watch my games, I bet I stop buying your merchandise. When is the last time you seen an executive bearing an NFL ball cap, or waiting in line to get an autograph.

  83. Youthier says:

    @quentinr: See, I see this the other way. Think about baseball – I don’t have a sports tier package there are days in the spring when there is a game on ESPN and ESPN2, plus FoxSports Detroit and WGN. You can watch MLB every freaking day of the week. Same deal with the NBA.

    The NFL has made themselves more “exclusive”. Everyone can watch on Sunday (unless it’s a blackout market). Only basic cable subscribers can get the Monday night game and typically only “sports tier” and viewers in the team market can get Thursday games. NASCAR is similar – if you can only see it once a week, more people pile on to that.

    If I can only afford one premium sports package a year and I equally enjoy MLB and NFL, I’m much more likely to go with the NFL package because it’s easier to see MLB on TV.

    It’s a good marketing plan for longetivity. I won’t argue the greedy point.

  84. ojuice20 says:

    I have ATT Uverse and the NFL network is standard programming! I don’t know much about Comcast other than it has poor customer service. The best thing is the NFL network is broadcasted in high def as long as subscribe to the HD package.

  85. hazelwoodfarm says:

    Both Comcast and the NFL are way too greedy. Comcast for not putting it on the regular HD tier (which I already pay a premium for)and the NFL for only putting it on their NFL Network channel. They don’t seem to understand that it is going to be their loss.

  86. SuperShawn says:

    They also showed it for FREE on NFL.com. I watched the entire game last night. The same as my 120″ HD projector? No. But it worked. Not hardly the usual tactics of a company trying to grub more money. Maybe they were trying to help break out of the DirecTV NFL Ticket monopoly and open up some prime games?

    Look, I am not happy about the situation either, but there are two sides to this story. Do you guys really think Comcast is the good guy in this situation? Why won’t they just offer the channel for FREE like the NFL wants?