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Home News-Telegram Sports Pro Sports NFL, Comcast settle NFLN dispute

NFL, Comcast settle NFLN dispute

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — The NFL Network will remain available to Comcast cable customers.

The league and the cable provider announced a long-term agreement Tuesday that will keep the NFL-owned channel out of Comcast's premium sports tier of programming and ended a lengthy battle between the companies. The pact was announced shortly after the league's two-day spring meeting formally opened in South Florida.

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

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said the league was "very pleased" with the deal. Specific terms of deal were not disclosed.

The NFL said Comcast will begin repositioning NFL Network to its digital classic level of service and have a full launch by August 1, and the companies planned to immediately drop pending legal actions before the Federal Communications Commission.

Comcast, the nation's largest cable company, had said the NFL wanted a 350 percent increase in fees it would pay to carry the network. Those fees are based on numbers of viewers, so Comcast aimed to move the channel from a digital tier with 8.6 million subscribers to a sports package with 2 million subscribers who would pay an additional monthly fee.

The league's contention was that Comcast was being punitive because it didn't get rights to show eight live NFL games for its Versus sports channel.


Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.





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