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]