Comcast Will Probably Charge Customers Extra For Red Zone

Last week’s word that Comcast and the NFL finally put their blood feud behind them to make the elusive NFL Network available on the basic digital tier was nice and all, but the out-of-nowhere bonus that the Comcast would also snag Red Zone Channel, which lets you keep tabs on all the games simultaneously, was a phenomenal revelation.

But before you could say “too good to be true,” along comes word — via Sports Illustrated’s Peter King — that customers will most likely have to fork over some extra scratch to enter the Red Zone:

Clarifying one thing about the Red Zone Channel on Comcast. Last week, I said the league’s smart deal with the cable giant would put the Red Zone (the channel that jumps from game to game on Sundays, showing all scoring opportunities) on Comcast’s digital tier. No so, most likely.

Other cable outfits who make deals to put NFL Network on their digital cable tiers will probably place Red Zone on a pay tier similar to the one the league argued the Network shouldn’t be on. The reason is because the Red Zone Channel is added value, not something the league wanted to give Big Cable as part of the deal to make the Network more widely distributed on the regular digital tier. So if you’ve got Comcast, and you want this premium channel, you’ll likely have to pay an additional $7 or so per month to get it, which, over a four-month term, is probably a reasonable cost if you’re an NFL devotee who loves immediacy and can’t wait for the halftime or post-game highlights.

As a Comcast customer and Red Zone Channel lust mongerer, I’ve got the mixed emotions you feel when your team scores a touchdown but is flagged for a 15-yard excessive celebration penalty.

Peter King’s Monday Morning Quarterback [Sports Illustrated]
(Photo:gumblyliberation)

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  1. KingPsyz says:

    Honestly something like that is for die hards who also pay $125 for a mesh shirt with their favortie players name in plasticised ink on the back, so $7/mo for the season is fairly reasonable

  2. David Shannon says:

    Given the economy we’re looking at every single monthly payment we make and, as nice as it might be to have, we won’t be paying an extra $7 a month for it. Of course I’m beginning to have trouble justifying Comcast at all

    • Jonbo298 says:

      @David Shannon: It’s difficult to cut the cable (pun intended and not intended) but once you do and realize how easy it is to find what you want to watch online (and now mostly legal with Hulu), the $70+ a month you were spending can keep going towards bills and when everything gets back to normal, you can justify it again if you even still want it.

      I had to adjust to no cable/sat, but OTA/Online made up for it. Thankfully someone like me doesn’t drool over football every Sunday thus saving money by not buying or subscribing to that crap.

    • takes_so_little says:

      @David Shannon: Do it, cut the cable. I spent about $80 on a big antenna and various cables and amplifiers, now I get digital TV and plenty of it.

      And when there’s nothing on (rare), or I can’t watch the specific NFL game want, I simply don’t watch TV. It’s just TV, after all.

  3. KingPsyz says:

    The HULU manuver doesn’t work for larger families always, multiple TVs, kids wanting to watch Yo Gabba Gabba or Spongebob vs grandma wanting to watch Ghost Hunters, grandpa and sports, etc.

    Plus so many agencies bundle phone, high speed, and cable the slight cost savings from cutting TV service isn’t always woth the headache.

    But rates are getting to be downright silly, and most markets have no competition other than broadcast, and Satellite.

    • dreamsneverend says:

      @PSN: kingpsyz: Uhm.. having 3 forms of competition is pretty good in most sectors.

    • Jonbo298 says:

      @PSN: kingpsyz: and I never said Hulu/Internet is the best for everyone. For some families it’s impossible to. If you’re married with kids, you should have enough supporting income to cover it. If you don’t, then look at your budget. Sometimes drastic cuts have to be made to survive.

      • KingPsyz says:

        @Jonbo298:
        Yes everyone knows there’s much more that should be important here than TV… Seriously tone down with the condecending tone there.

        Back to the point, with next to no real competition, cable companies rates are drving higher and higher to where it doesn’t really relate anymore to the service and more to the fact that they know we’re all hooked on TV.

        Some places sell Digital Cable at $100+ mo, and what’s worse still is some people pay that… Leaving little incentive to change.

        I would bet if you had two cable companies or more per market say using municipal or co-op coax to run the signals over you’d see dramatic price drops.

        • NeverLetMeDown says:

          @PSN: kingpsyz:

          Municipal coax won’t work, or at least would be hideously inefficient, since you’d be carrying duplicates of every channel.

        • takes_so_little says:

          @PSN: kingpsyz: Dude, if you are in love with TV, you’re going to have to pay. Pay TV is not a right, it’s a luxury. You COULD just get an antenna, it IS possible.

          You complain the price is too high, yet you pay it. So, according to the company, the price is NOT too high, and won’t be as long as people pay it. Money paid with complaints is just as green as money paid happily.

  4. KingPsyz says:

    @dreamsneverend:
    Broadcast 5/6 channels vs cable’s 100+ is not REALLY competition now is it?

    And many HOAs / apartments don’t allow receiver dishes.

    So really there’s little to no competition.

    • dreamsneverend says:

      @PSN: kingpsyz: Sorry but you can’t use an HOA that you choose to live under as an excuse. That’s a limitation people put on themselves, there are plenty of nice places to live that don’t have such restrictions. Since the DTV switch has begun the little box I picked up to play with pulls down 20+ stations, almost as much as limited basic (26) that cable sells here for $15/mo.

  5. Meathamper says:

    Red Zone is the greatest invention ever. To charge for it is like charging for oxygen, dammit.

  6. Joeb5 says:

    Red zone costs $300 – $400 + $100 super fan on Dtv but you also get all the games as well.

    This may end costing $100 comcast as well.

  7. bones11 says:

    This is what the whole debate was regarding in the first place. By moving NFL Network to the digital classic tier it would mean that Comcast is still paying NFL the same amount it always has been per their contract however, people are paying Comcast less money to subscribe to it, thus Comcast isn’t recovering the amount of money it costs to broadcast NFL Network. I think it’s completely fair they charge for Red Zone, you wanted a la carte pricing?? Well this is a start, I know I wouldn’t want my rates to jump because Comcast felt necessary to provide Red Zone at no additional cost to me when I don’t even watch sports.