Comcast, NFL Reach Carriage Deal for NFL Network

Comcast and the NFL have reached a deal for carriage of The NFL Network as well as VOD and carriage of the NFL's proposed RedZone channel.

That means an end to their program carriage dispute currently before an FCC judge, and legal action in New York State, the two said in announcing the deal.

Comcast will move the network from a sports tier to its Digital Classic service by Aug. 1. Digital Classic reaches approximately two-thirds of digital customers.

"Our goal has always been to provide our digital customers with access to the NFL's unique content," said Comcast Chairman Brian Roberts in announcing the deal. "Working together we have struck the right balance between value and distribution on a variety of viewing platforms. We are looking forward to bringing the NFL's programming to our customers just in time for the start of the NFL season."

The companies said they would take "immediate action to discontinue pending legal actions before the Federal Communications Commission and a New York state court."

The per-sub price appears to be considerably lower than the 70 cents the NFL had been seeking, but higher than the 25 cents Comcast had cited. Sources vary, putting it somewhere in the 40-50 cent range.

The deal is for 10 years according to a source.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.