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Houston Chronicle: NFL Network still at odds with Comcast

Friday, November 23, 2007 , Posted by Christopher Byrne at 12:21 AM, under , , , ,

I am not sure if I should have any sympathy for the National Football League (NFL) in their battle with Comcast, since all games should be available on over-the-air networks that everyone who has a television can watch. I cannot feel bad for Comcast being upset that the NFL Network has set up a web site telling Comcast subscribers to switch, because Comcast has been playing dirty in the Internet world by blocking users traffic. But the battle is brewing, as David Barron writes in this article for the Houston Chronicle:

"In the ongoing squabble between the National Football League and the nation's most powerful cable providers, Thanksgiving is less a holiday than a provocation.

Tonight's Colts-Falcons game, which follows the traditional games from Detroit and Irving on Fox and CBS, is the first of eight Thursday or Saturday games that will air on the league-owned NFL Network,

Opening-night games normally are an occasion for celebration. This game, however, has prompted yet another round of harsh words this week from the league and cable carriers.

"This is compelling product," NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said. "Fans want to see these games. Cable operators are telling us they don't, and we disagree."

Said David Cohen, Comcast's executive vice president: "Comcast offers the NFL Network to all of its interested customers today. The fact is that the vast majority of our customers have elected not to receive NFL Network."

At issue is the willingness of cable carriers to accept, and to pass on to their customers, the NFL Network's reported carriage fee of 70 cents per month per subscriber at a time when regulators face increased complaints rising cable bills."

You can read the full article on the Houston Chronicle web site.

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