NFL Network And Comcast Finally Kiss And Make Up

It’s official, the NFL Network and Comcast have finally reached an agreement that will bring the football-only network to the majority of Comcast’s subscribers. So, who caved?

According to the NYT, the NFL agreed to lower the price it charges Comcast in exchange for the cable giant placing the channel on its Digital Classic tier.

“We are very pleased that NFL Network and other N.F.L. content will be widely distributed in millions of more homes on Comcast’s service,” Roger Goodell, the league’s commissioner, said in a statement. Brian L. Roberts, Comcast’s chairman, said, “Our goal has always been to provide our digital customers with access to the N.F.L.’s unique content and, working together, we have struck the right balance between value and distribution.”

Comcast also got video-on-demand rights and the ability to show DirecTV’s Red Zone Channel, also known as the greatest invention in the history of mankind.

(For those of you who don’t have Sunday Ticket, the Red Zone Channel is a commercial free channel that’s hosted by a guy who watches all the games and switches over whenever anyone is about to score. If I had a choice between food and the Red Zone Channel, I would always pick the Red Zone Channel.)

Time Warner and Cablevision are the last remaining NFL channel holdouts, so cross your fingers.

Comcast Reaches Deal on NFL Network [NYT]
(Photo:Mr. Usaji)

Comments

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  1. rickatnight11 says:

    I’d love to see the Tennis Channel on standard TV packages, but, alas, it doesn’t draw the same following in America.

    • dohtem says:

      @rickatnight11: And the Fox Soccer Network!

      Why Americans see soccer as a sport for preppy brats, I will never understand :(

      • Radi0logy says:

        @dohtem: Not preppy brats, people that like boring things.

        • pigbearpug says:

          @Radi0logy: It’s actually not that boring and it’s better in Europe for some reason. I think football is much better than “football” (soccer) but I’ll watch Manchester United take on Chelsea any time. Now if you want something boring, check out cricket. They have matches that last 7 days and I’m not exaggerating.

      • Clumber says:

        @dohtem:
        The flopping. I *want* to like soccer, I do… but the toppling over dramatically because an opposing player’s breath came within 5 inches of you turns me completely off the sport. And then out comes the stretcher as the terribly injured and broken player writhes in utter agony… only to be subbed back in about 5 mins later.

        We have a shiny new MLS team out here that was doing fantastically.. but a recent game it looked like they were playing a team of those fainting goats, who were rewarded with our team getting the nice colorful cards up the wazoo.

        Yes it is in NBA too, and I don’t like that sport either, ‘cept for WNBA which has a lot less flopping and sometimes the non-starters even get their fingerprints on the ball.

        Hey – while we’re here, anyone know if it is possible yet to have satellite radio AND be able to get both Baseball and NFL? You know, without having to have 2 stereos? TIA!

    • Mike8813 says:

      @rickatnight11: I’ve got the Tennis Channel on Cox’s digital cable in SW Kansas. No HD Tennis Channel, but it’s a start.

    • jswilson64 says:

      @rickatnight11: Still waiting for Tennis Channel on AT&T U-Verse, too…

  2. allstarecho says:

    Great, so I wonder which of my favorite channels will get dropped and replaced with NFL (Nation For Losers).

    • karmaghost says:

      @allstarecho: NFL Net already has two positions in my current digital lineup (one digital, one digital HD), but just because you came up with an absolutely terrible fake acronym, I’m hoping they do replace something you like.

    • bigmil87 says:

      @allstarecho: That acronym doesn’t even make any sense.

    • David Bixenspan says:

      @allstarecho:

      With digital cable eliminating old bandwidth issues, new channels don’t mean they get rid of old ones.

    • Mike8813 says:

      @allstarecho: Since you’re throwing insults at people just because they don’t like the same things that you do, I’ll join in and say that the NFL Network will be replacing your precious half-naked Anime shows.

      I don’t like them, so you must be a loser, right?

    • dancing_bear says:

      @allstarecho: I was in an irish pub watching Rugby the other day. It turns out the NFL guys are a bunch of pu$$|es. Watch rugby to see real men get it on.

      • secret_curse says:

        @dancing_bear: If watching real men get it on entertains you, that’s your business. Just don’t go pushing your dancing_bear agenda on me…

  3. dreamsneverend says:

    I would love to see NFL Network in HD here on Brighthouse.. *crosses fingers*

  4. Nogard13 says:

    From what I read (a Peter King article on Sports Illustrated), this deal with Comcast opens the door for all cable companies in the USA. So, as long as the other cable companies agree to the same deal Comcast did (prior to the start of the NFL season), they will be showing the same as Comcast.

    I’m hoping TW does this as they will be my cable provider in when I move this summer. Or, I might just have to get DirecTV and see ALL the games.

  5. frank64 says:

    So now if you don’t want to watch the NFL network, you will still be charged for it. Just a little less.

  6. TeamSAM says:

    I can only hope bankrupt Charter gets their act together and gets in on this. I’d happily lose the HD golf channel or the one that shows Maroon 5 concerts and “Storytellers” over and over for NFLN and the Red Zone Channel.

    • Mike8813 says:

      @TeamSAM: Is that the MOJO channel? If it is, (I had it when I had Comcast) that channel is garbage. I feel your pain.

      • Super Fighting Robot - JiggaMan says:

        @Mike8813: no that channel is Palladia (MTV.VH1.CMT)… and MOJO was good because it had the greatest drinking show “THREE SHEETS”.

        Go watch Three Sheets on HULU now!

  7. cristiana says:

    So, everyone either loses a few channels, or gets a bigger bill. Just so you can watch grown men play with balls. Great!

    • tbax929 says:

      @cristiana:

      In all fairness, we all get channels we have no interest in. There are no kids in my house, yet I get no less than 20 channels with kid programming. I wish I only had one channel on my lineup to bith about.

      • HFC says:

        @tbax929: Do I really need Lifetime, the Hallmark channel AND We? I’d much rather have the NFL and MLB channels… thank God, I do.

        • cristiana says:

          @HFC:
          The issue I have is that these sports channels tend to cost far more per subscriber than every other channel, and I would rather not have to subsidize your expensive tastes. For example, ESPN costs $3.65 per subscriber, and that is by far the most expensive channel in any basic cable lineup. Contrast that with the Hallmark channel (which I also don’t watch) which costs $0.06 per subscriber.

          If the cost of sports channels were more in line with the costs from every other channel I would not be complaining as much, sports channels can comprise over 50% of the subscriber costs for basic cable.

          • sponica says:

            @cristiana: yes but the reason a lot of people get cable is for sports. i understand your argument but after going through 1.5 baseball seasons, a football season, and a basketball season without cable…i cannot wait to have cable again.

            Football is the only sport you can watch EVERY local team’s game over the air. But if you want to watch every baseball game, you have to go to a bar.

    • karmaghost says:

      @cristiana: Man, everyone’s always hatin’ on the footballs. In many areas, there are already channels dedicated to the NFL network on Comcast, they just show up dark.

  8. T-Bone (KoKo the Monkey) says:

    Any news on when it will be available to all customers?

  9. Mike8813 says:

    Why is it that whenever football is brought up on this or any other Gawker site, the comments are filled with hate? You’re always guaranteed to see the following comments:

    1. “Blah blah blah dumb jocks, sports iz dumb”
    2. “Blah blah blah America football iz dumb. Real football (soccer as you call it) iz the best.
    3. “Blah blah blah soccer iz boring. Football rules!”

    But I hate #1 more than any other. Just because you don’t like it doesn’t mean that it’s only played/watched by idiots. Get over it.

    • Skaperen says:

      @Mike8813: These kinds of taunts are triggered by the expectation that the price for cable TV will increase and/or other channels will be dropped just to bring these channels on a more standard level tier. If you like these channels, you’d hate it if some other kind of programming forced its way in and raise your prices and/or caused some of the channels you like to be dropped.

      The proper solution is for every genre of programming to have its own package. Cable service starts with a basic tier of require-carriage broadcasters and local access. Then every genre of programming is on the menu. Want sports? Pay for it and get all the sports channels.

      I do agree it’s silly to offer ESPN on a common tier and not NFL. Most sports fans will want them all.

      I’m not a sports fan, don’t care to watch, and don’t want to be forced to pay for something I don’t want to have. You shouldn’t be forced to pay for the channels you don’t want. See above and join me promoting the “basic + genre menu” concept, with a mandate in law to come if cable providers keep shafting everyone by charging them for channels they don’t want.

      • whydidnt says:

        @Skaperen: Of course you are never “forced to pay” for channels you don’t want. No one is forcing you to pay for cable. You are doing so of your own free will.

        The problem is that the cost to deliver 150 different channels, when you figure in programming, delivery, etc. doesn’t change if individual consumers are only paying to watch 30 of them. You’d pay the same amount you are today, but would have 120 fewer channels to watch. cristiana mentioned that some channels only cost $.06, but of course they are so cheap because the cable company pays for every user. If only 10% of the users signed up for that channel, the price would likely rise to $.60 and so on.

        No the problem isn’t the bundling of services, that’s just an efficient means of delivery. The problem is that our government continues to allow and even support monopolies, such that most people don’t have any real choice. If they want cable they get it from the ONE provider in their area. If there was true competition, prices would come down, and those channels that no-one truly cared about would wither away and die.

        • cristiana says:

          @whydidnt:
          But, yes, some channels are so cheap because the costs are divided amongst every subscriber, however, the same holds true of your sports channels. My cable bill is subsidizing your sports watching, and sports are by far the most expensive cable channels that are on the standard tiers. Like I said above ESPN costs 3.65 per subscriber, and ESPN is almost always on the lowest tier. Think about how much more it would cost if it was moved to a sports tier. For one ESPN you can get 60 Hallmark level channels.
          Also, think about it this way, premium channels like HBO cost around $5 per subscriber, and that is the cost without the benefit of being on the low tiers. And when you subscribe, that adds $10-$15 to your cable bill. I would love my bill to be lowered by that much just to get rid of all those sports channels, or, keep it the same and give me HBO in my sub.
          On the lines of premium channels, I like some HBO shows, but, I don’t think everyone should pay for it, however that is how the sports channels work. They are so expensive that they significantly increase the costs of cable to everyone, it is like paying for HBO yet you hate everything on the channel, and would never watch it, yet, you cannot get rid of it.

          • whydidnt says:

            @cristiana: And I would venture to guess that ESPN is watched 60 times more than Hallmark, which I have never watched, along with about 60 other channels I’ve never watched, but continue to pay for. We all pay into a big pool, so we all have a variety of choices at a reasonable price. You may prefer Hallmark or AMC, or the like. Your neighbor may have kids that prefer Nickelodeon or Disney. Some prefer sports. We could go to a pure ale carte system, where we only pay for those channels we want, but I guarantee we won’t save any money, we’ll only get fewer choices.

            • the Goat says:

              @whydidnt:
              I would certainly save money with an ale carte setup. Currently I subscribe to cable because I want access to one single cable channel (I get all the networks over the air for free in HD). If I could choose to cut my bill in half and only receive the one channel I care about I would take the deal.

  10. DrRonster says:

    What about that new league? Lingerie Football League
    Games will be played on Friday nights. That would be good for on demand.

  11. lvhotrain says:

    Does this count as a sign of the apocalypse?

  12. Super Fighting Robot - JiggaMan says:

    Anyone know if the RED ZONE Channel will be shown on other cable stations? Specifically COX?

    COX in southern California is absolutely the best cable option here for sports – the only thing missing is HD versions of the NBA and MLB network… we got HD versions of the NFL, NHL and GOlF networks – but all of them are at least in SD.

  13. sonneillon says:

    Hrmm, I like watching football. My dislike for the players themselves aside there is an elegance and a tactical perspective to football that is quite interesting. Although I have never had a problem finding an NFL game. Especially during playoff season when I am more prone to watching other teams.

    • sponica says:

      @sonneillon: well the local games are always OTA (unless you were in the Detroit market this season, 0-17 FTW!)…try watching baseball OTA and you’d get one game a week.

      • sonneillon says:

        @sponica: True but the NFL network doesn’t do squat for baseball.

        • sponica says:

          @sonneillon: true but the point is if you’re only interested in viewing the local market games, you’re good to go without the NFL Network (bc even the one game a season your team might play will be on the local channel).
          not having any sort of cable for baseball or basketball (if any of that is your poison) and you’re pretty much SOL.

  14. Roy Hobbs says:

    The Red Zone Channel and the Game Mix channel (8 games on the screen at the same time) may be the reason why the commies, looking into the future, realized that they were never going to beat the West, and gave up.

    • NTC-Brendan says:

      @Roy Hobbs: True dat. Game Mix on Sunday is just cruise control for Awesome. People can pour Haterade on DirecTV and the NFLN all they want. Bottom line is the product is awesome.

  15. doctor_cos wants you to remain calm says:

    You are all missing the point here.

    If I had a choice between food and the Red Zone Channel, I would always pick the Red Zone Channel.

    My unrequited love for Meg has increased exponentially ;)
    If only I were younger, richer, and living in NY…