AVS Forum banner

1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,273 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Comcast, NFL Seek Mediation


Parties Making Arrangements For Meeting Over NFL Network's Carriage Terms


By Ted Hearn -- Multichannel News, 7/7/2008 10:34:00 AM


Washington -- Comcast Corp. and the National Football League have agreed to try to settle their legal dispute over carriage terms of the NFL Network out of court by turning to a mediator, both sides confirmed last week.


The agreement to rely on mediation came at the request of New York State Judge Bernard Fried in April. Fried, who ruled in favor of Comcast in May 2007 in a suit field by the NFL, was reversed by a higher state court in February. The case was returned to Fried's court.


"We're still in the process of arranging mediation," Comcast spokeswoman Sena Fitzmaurice said last Thursday.


The NFL sued Comcast in October 2006 for placing the NFL Network on a lightly viewed sports tier on recently acquired systems from Adelphia Communications.


After Fried's ruling seven months later, Comcast put the NFL Network on a sports tier on nearly all 600 systems. Comcast claimed it could do that under an August 2004 contract related to Comcast's options when it did not obtain the rights to distribute a package of out-of-market NFL games or a number of nationally televised NFL games by July 31, 2006.


The mediation will focus on whether Comcast had a contractual right to place the NFL Network on a sports tier that around 2 million of Comcast's 24.7 million subscribers buy for about $5 to $7 per month.


The NFL has refused to suspend its carriage discrimination complaint against Comcast at the FCC for the duration of the mediation. The complaint accused Comcast of favoring company-owned sports networks Golf Channel and Versus over independent channels like the NFL Network. Comcast denied the charges in a June 20 filing at the FCC.


"While we are prepared to agree to mediation of the contract language dispute between us and Comcast, we expressly told the court in NY that we would not stay the FCC proceeding - which raises major issues of federal communications policy - during the mediation. Comcast is trying to persuade the FCC to stay it, but we see no good reason to do so - especially because Comcast doesn't deny that it treats NFLN differently than sports channels that it owns," said NFL spokesman Dan Masonson.

http://www.multichannel.com/article/CA6575978.html
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,273 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
FCC sides with NFL Network in dispute with Comcast


Sat Oct 11, 12:32 AM ET


WASHINGTON - The Federal Communications Commission has sided with the National Football League in a long-running programming dispute with Comcast Corp., ruling that Comcast should carry the league's NFL Network on its popular digital cable package.


In a decision released late Friday, the FCC ruled that Comcast discriminated against the NFL Network by agreeing to carry the channel only on a more expensive sports cable service. The NFL filed the complaint against Comcast in May.


The FCC ruling now goes before an administrative law judge, who could force Comcast to carry the NFL programming at a certain price.


"We are pleased with today's FCC ruling and appreciate the commissioners' attention to our complaint," the NFL Network said in a statement. "NFL cable viewers could soon be the real winners."


Comcast has argued that consumers will have to pay more for programming many may not want if the company is forced to include the NFL Network in its regular digital cable package.


In a statement, the company said its "programming decisions are in the best interest of our consumers and consistent with the law," adding that "forcing these networks onto our cable systems will cost consumers millions of dollars and cause cable prices to rise."

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081011/...cast_dispute_2
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,273 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
NFL Network Scores On Comcast With FCC Decision


Agency Says Op Discriminated By Placing Net On Sports Tier; Ball In Administrative Judge's Court Next


By Mike Reynolds -- Multichannel News, 10/11/2008 7:14:00 AM


The FCC may have changed Comcast Corp.'s game plan for NFL Network.


In a decision released late Friday, the FCC ruled that Comcast should migrate NFL Network to a more widely distributed cable package from its current placement on a sports tier, according to an Associated Press report.


The FCC's decision, according to the AP, indicated that Comcast discriminated against the pro football league's in-house service by only carrying it on a more expensive sports service. The NFL filed the complaint against Comcast in May.


The FCC ruling now goes before an administrative law judge, who could force Comcast to carry the NFL programming at a certain price.


Comcast currently offers NFL Network on a sports tied, priced between $5 to $7 monthly. All told, Comcast has nearly 25 million video customers.


"We are pleased with today's FCC ruling and appreciate the commissioners' attention to our complaint," the NFL Network said in a statement. "NFL cable viewers could soon be the real winners."


For its part, Comcast stated that its "programming decisions are in the best interest of our consumers and consistent with the law, adding that "forcing these networks onto our cable systems will cost consumers millions of dollars and cause cable prices to rise."


The distribution dispute dates back several years. The NFL sued Comcast in October 2006 for placing the NFL Network on a sports tier on then recently acquired systems from Adelphia Communications. In May 2007, New York State Judge Bernard Fried ruled that Comcast had the right to shift the NFL Network to a sports tier under an option in an August 2004 contract because the nation's largest cable operator did not obtain the rights to distribute a package of out-of-market NFL games or a number of nationally televised NFL games by July 31, 2006. Since then the parties have been engaged in more legal actions.


Cable and Comcast do not have the rights to the Sunday Ticket, out-of-market, pay-per-view package, which is the exclusive province of DirecTV. Comcast-owned OLN -- the sports network now known as Versus --bid for an eight-game NFL primetime games. However, the league awarded those contests to NFL Network early in 2006.


In addition to its problems with Comcast, NFL Network has yet to secure carriage with such top operators as Time Warner Cable and Cablevision, over pricing and placement issues. Those and other distribution stalemates resulted in the NFL simulcasting NFL Network's final 2007 game between the New York Giants and the then-undefeated New England Patriots on CBS and NBC.


The first of NFL Network's 2008 primetime games is scheduled to kick off Nov. 6 with the Denver Broncos visiting the Cleveland Browns.

http://www.multichannel.com/article/CA6604527.html
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,828 Posts
Zzzzz. Comcast has the right to put NFL Net on any tier it wants, complaints from the NFL notwithstanding. The FCC should have NOTHING to do with this.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,310 Posts
BS. Then why isn't NHL Network on digital classic, eh?


FCC should not meddle in this...leave it to the cable operators and they'll feel the revenue impacts (if any).
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
3,171 Posts
Like this is doing us a favor, screw the NFL. Comcast already said they will have to raise the rates of everyone even for those who do not want it. The only real winners in this is the NFL, not cable viewers!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,943 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lodef /forum/post/14854515


The only real winners in this is the NFL, not cable viewers!

Of course! Why do you think the NFL sued in the first place? For that matter, why does anybody sue?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
371 Posts
Advertising. That's what the NFL wants. They get more of it by being on more available systems. By being on sports tier, they get lighter viewership.


The worst thing is that all this does is piss off Comcast, which will eventually cost me my NFL Network!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,273 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Goodell Keeps Bashing Comcast, Time Warner


NFL Commissioner Says Operators Are Discriminating Against League-Owned Net


By Ted Hearn -- Multichannel News, 11/4/2008 1:34:00 PM


WashingtonNFL commission Roger Goodell is continuing to heap blame on Comcast and Time Warner Cable for the inability of some fans to see their home teams play when pro football games are televised by the league-owned NFL Network.


"These cable operators are denying their consumers fair access to this popular NFL programming or charging them exorbitant monthly fees to view the Network," Goodell said in an Oct. 31 letter to Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.). The NFL released the letter Tuesday.


When the NFL Network airs a game, it is shown on free local TV stations in the markets of the teams on the field. The rest of the country needs access to the NFL Network on a pay-TV system. But many cable operators either do not carry the network or make it an optional purchase.


Last week, Specter and 12 other senators told Goodell in a sternly worded letter that the NFL's definition of the local TV market was too narrow, claiming it excluded fans of a team with a regional following, such as the New England Patriots, from seeing the games on free TV.


In his response, Goodell suggested that cable carriage of the NFL Network on broadly distributed service tiers would help to address the lawmakers' concerns.


"Our goal is to distribute NFL Network games to a broad national audience," Goodell said. "However, that goal has been undercut by several of the largest cable operators that are discriminating against our network by either refusing to carry it or placing it on a much more costly tier than the sports networks that the cable operators themselves own."


Comcast distributes the NFL Network on a sports tier under a contract now in litigation. Time Warner Cable does not carry the channel.


Among other things, the two cable companies insist that the NFL Network is demanding excessive compensation for a small slate of games. They also complain about the NFL's decision to award exclusive rights to NFL Sunday Ticket, an out-of-market game package, to DirecTV.


The NFL Network kicks off its eight-game primetime run on Thursday, Nov. 6, when the Denver Broncos visit the Cleveland Browns at 8 p.m. ET.


The NFL yielded to political pressure last year when the NFL Network had exclusive rights to televise the Patriots' game against the New York Giants. There was huge national interest in the game as the Pats were attempting to become the first team to go 16-0.


The league decided to air the game on NBC and CBS nationally, denying exclusivity to its own network that had been promised its pay-TV partners.


"Although we made the right decision for our fans, doing so resulted in costly litigation against us from Comcast and other cable and satellite operators that we still are defending in the courts," Goodell said.


Goodell didn't mention that the Comcast litigation was actually initiated by the NFL. Comcast added the portion related to the Pats-Giants game to a pre-existing law suit.


Specter's letter to Goodell was signed by Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.). Others on the letter were Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse (D - R.I.), Jack Reed (D - R.I), Pete Domenici (R - N.M.), Ken Salazar (D - Colo.), Michael Enzi (R - Wyo.), Bernie Sanders (I - Vt.), Joe Lieberman (I - Conn.), Wayne Allard (R - Colo.), Dick Durbin (D -Ill.), John Thune (R- S.D.) and John Barrasso (R- Wyo.).


The lawmakers' letter suggested that problems between cable and the NFL might stem from the NFL's exemption from antitrust law, which allows the league to negotiate television contracts for all of its teams. The exemption was granted in the Sports Broadcasting Act of 1961.


In a recent tentative finding, the FCC's Media Bureau chief Monica Desai concluded that Comcast discriminated against the NFL Network in terms of carriage. That staff decision has been referred to an administration law judge, who was given 60 days to rule. The ALJ's ruling can be appealed to the five FCC members.


Last Thursday, Desai also ruled that Time Warner Cable discriminated against Mid-Atlantic Sports Network (MASN) by refusing to provide carriage on an analog tier that most subscribers receive in North Carolina. MASN is a regional sports network that airs Washington Nationals and Baltimore Orioles baseball games. Time Warner Cable is appealing that ruling to the five FCC members.


In his letter, Goodell referred to both of Desai's rulings.


"Would it not be appropriate for you and your fellow Senators who signed the October 28 letter to address this blatant discrimination with those two cable operators so that your constituents and our fans would benefit? We are willing to meet with these cable operators at any time to reach a negotiated settlement on NFL Network distribution," Goodell said.

http://www.multichannel.com/article/...?desc=topstory
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Top