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  1. #1

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    • Minion
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    NFL, Cable Faceoff Going Down to Wire - AP 11/21/06

    NFL, Cable Faceoff Going Down to Wire
    AP 11/21/06

    NFL, Cable Faceoff Going Down to Wire

    NEW YORK (AP) -- On Thanksgiving, the NFL will air the first of eight live pro football games on its own network. But it won't be available to many viewers across the country because the league hasn't reached carriage agreements with several major cable operators.

    The eight games -- beginning with Thursday's matchup of the Denver Broncos and the Kansas City Chiefs -- will be available on local broadcasters, satellite TV and a number of other cable systems that do carry the NFL Network. But that totals only about 40 million of the nation's 111.4 million households with TVs.

    Most notable among the cable companies that haven't reached deals with the National Football League are No. 2 operator Time Warner Cable, which is a unit of the media conglomerate Time Warner Inc.; Cablevision Systems Corp., a New York-area provider; and Charter Communications Inc. Time Warner, for its part, says it's highly unlikely a deal will be reached in time for the first game.

    Comcast Corp., the largest cable company in the country, has carried the network for two years, but as part of a premium-tier sports package ordered by only about 7 million of its 24 million subscribers. Time Warner says it's balking at a demand from NFL that the network be carried on the most widely available basic service lineup.

    The issue is cost. Spokesman Mark Harrad says Time Warner would have to pay $140 million a year to provide the channel to all 13.5 million of its subscribers in 33 states, placing it in the top five most expensive cable networks. He said the company would prefer to carry the network as part of a premium service -- not at the rate of 70 cents per customer per month the network is reportedly seeking.

    "If we put all expensive sports programming on the standard tier of service, that would increase our rates to all of our customers, even those who didn't particularly care about football or these games," said Harrad.

    NFL Network spokesman Seth Palansky counters that a number of other cable companies as well as the two main satellite providers are "happily" carrying the network, which is jointly owned by the league's 32 team owners.

    "It's the most valuable programming a cable company can offer, and a cable company not carrying live NFL games is like a grocery store not carrying milk," Palansky said.

    The NFL already makes a bundle from broadcasting agreements, money that is shared equally by all team owners. General Electric Co.'s NBC started broadcasting Sunday night games this year under a six-year, $600 million deal with the league, while Walt Disney Co.'s ESPN is paying $1.1 billion for Monday night football over eight years. Last year the NFL reached six-year, $8 billion extensions with Fox and CBS for Sunday afternoon games.
    Full Story - NFL, Cable Faceoff Going Down to Wire
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  2. #2

    • Darkbeer
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    Re: NFL, Cable Faceoff Going Down to Wire - AP 11/21/06

    I think Time Warner is doing the right thing, trying to make sure it is a "Premium" service, and not part of the basic package.

    I want to watch the Broncos-Chiefs game Thursday night (I am a big Charger fan, and AFC West games are important), and since Lisa and I live in a Time Warner neighborhood, we have to make choices. Luckily we are having Turkey dinner with friends at Storytellers, so we can head to the ESPN Zone or the Lost Bar to catch the second half that night.

    I also not willing to switch to Satellite for a few reasons, and see no need to buy the NFL Sunday Ticket package, many games are available via the over the air networks and ESPN, if there is one big game I want to see, I prefer spending the few dollars at a Sports Bar, where I can enjoy the game, and the fans around me.

    I have no problem with the NFL making as much money as it can, but that is through advertising, and selling packages to those who want to pay for the extra games...... Not forcing a new channel on EVERYONE, many of who don't care to watch it.
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  3. #3

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    Re: NFL, Cable Faceoff Going Down to Wire - AP 11/21/06

    It is getting so that no one can watch football anymore with out having to write a check to three differant businesses for the pleasure... This is really a conveniance?

    And what of ESPN - and Monday Night Football... I imagine that if the NFL Network pulls things off. No more MNF on ESPN...

    Could it be ESPN is just too darn big now? Has the ESPN peaked? The warning signs are here... First a failed cellular phone network... now this...
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  4. #4

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    Re: NFL, Cable Faceoff Going Down to Wire - AP 11/21/06

    What I don't like is that it's part of a package that would require me to buy a few other channels that I don't want.
    If it costs T/W $1 per viewer, couldn't they simply charge customers $1.50 for that one channel?
    It's not as if the technology is not there to have 100 different "packages" with one channel each.

    Also, what really bugs me about the conversion is that they're changing channel numbers on me, to make it easier for me to find them. Um, I wasn't having trouble finding the channels I want to watch. To make it easy, you should allow me to define which networks are on which channel numbers. That way I'll know exactly where they are, since I put them there. It's like someone deciding that my chest of drawers needs rearranging, because it will be easy for me to remember if they put things where they think I would remember them.
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