Comcast customers to get more football

Marketplace Staff May 19, 2009
HTML EMBED:
COPY

Comcast customers to get more football

Marketplace Staff May 19, 2009
HTML EMBED:
COPY

TEXT OF STORY

Kai Ryssdal: The football season is still months away, but the country’s most popular sports league is burying the hatchet with the nation’s biggest cable company. The NFL Network and Comcast announced a settlement today that’ll ensure millions of fans will be able to watch the network this fall as Joel Rose reports.


JOEL ROSE: Comcast complained that the NFL was charging too much for its network, while the NFL sued Comcast for refusing to carry the channel on its regular cable package. It’s been a contentious subject for years. But on today’s conference call with reporters, Comcast CEO Brian Roberts and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell sounded like old friends. Here’s Goodell:

ROGER Goodell: He needed it for his customers. We need it for our fans. We can work together in a much more productive fashion than fighting.

In the end, Comcast agreed not to charge its subscribers a special premium for the NFL Network. The exact terms were not announced. But it appears that the NFL agreed to cut the price it charges Comcast. Smith College economics professor Andrew Zimbalist says in return the NFL gets 8 million potential viewers.

ANDREW Zimbalist: They get much more exposure. That helps them not only for the games when they’re broadcast, but helps the promotion of the NFL Network in general.

The two sides also agreed to drop legal actions. Goodell says the NFL now hopes to negotiate with other cable operators, including Time Warner.

I’m Joel Rose for Marketplace.

There’s a lot happening in the world.  Through it all, Marketplace is here for you. 

You rely on Marketplace to break down the world’s events and tell you how it affects you in a fact-based, approachable way. We rely on your financial support to keep making that possible. 

Your donation today powers the independent journalism that you rely on. For just $5/month, you can help sustain Marketplace so we can keep reporting on the things that matter to you.  

Need some Econ 101?

Our new Marketplace Crash Course is here to help. Sign-up for free, learn at your own pace.