Comcast, NFL Reach Deal on NFL Network

The long battle between Comcast and the National Football League over the cable operator’s carriage of NFL Network finally drew to a close, as the cable operator and the league reached a new, long-term agreement Tuesday covering the cable network, video-on-demand for Comcast Digital Classic subscribers, and the opportunity to offer the NFL’s RedZone Channel when it is created.

Under terms of the pact, the NFL and Comcast will also take immediate joint action to discontinue pending legal actions before the Federal Communications Commission and a New York state court.

Comcast will shift NFL Network from its Sports Entertainment Package to its Digital Classic tier by Aug. 1, giving the league’s cable outlet access to two-thirds of the operator’s customer base.

The on-demand content in the agreement includes game highlights, game replays, the “best” of NFL Films, player and coach interviews, local team highlights, and other NFL programming.

“We are very pleased that NFL Network and other NFL content will be widely distributed in millions of more homes on Comcast’s service,” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement. “We look forward to having NFL Network’s coverage of training camps and the preseason showcased this summer on Comcast.

Comcast chairman and CEO Brian L. Roberts added, “We are delighted to have come to an agreement with the NFL. 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. We are looking forward to bringing the NFL’s programming to our customers just in time for the start of the NFL season.”

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