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Monday, November 26, 2007

More on the NFL Network-Cable Scam

After reading an e-mail from one angry Cowboys fan today, I decided I can't let this issue die without a few more comments on the situation. Here's a rundown of what the problem is: The NFL Network airs the monumental game of Dallas vs Green Bay on Thursday night. Both teams are 10-1 and fighting for home field in the playoffs.

Recently, the major two monopolistic cable companies, namely Comcast, removed the NFL Network from its lineup of basic cable. Anyone who wants it has to pay more for it. Since then, it's been a comical game of finger pointing between the NFL and the cable scum.

Let's be clear here: This is not a problem caused by the Dallas Cowboys. It is a problem surely caused by the NFL and the cable companies. Two-thirds of America will not get to see the game, and the end result is bad for the fans, of which I am one. I will have to go to some nasty, smoky bar in a town that is anti-Cowboys to watch this game.

Here is an article that gives some idea of how nasty this problem is. The NFL spent $100 million in ads to bash the cable scum for not airing the NFL Network. Money well spent? Hell No! Try diplomacy, guys. The cable companies have been some of the most stubborn, anti-consumer businesses ever on the planet. Yet, they know they are losing customers to satellite television packages. They lost me years ago.

A writer in May stated:

The NFL Network will appeal a judge's ruling that Comcast, the nation's largest cable television operator, can distribute the channel separate from its digital package.


State Supreme Court Justice Bernard J. Fried ruled earlier this month that Comcast can place the NFL Network on a less-popular niche level that has far fewer viewers than the digital level.

"The final word on this issue is most likely going to come from the appellate courts," NFL Network spokesman Seth Palansky said in an e-mail to The Associated Press. "If this decision is upheld, the biggest harm will be to consumers. They will have to pay more for less."

In October 2006, the NFL sued Comcast when the cable scum decided to pull the network from its basic cable and add it to its obscure sports tier that had just 750,000 viewers. The regular tier has 7 million viewers.

But here's the rub: The NFL gets 55 cents per subscriber each month. So, when Comcast moved the channel to a tier with less viewers, the NFL loses about $3 million a month! Comcast said it didn't want to charge customers the extra money for the NFL programming they might not want in the digital tier.

When it comes down to it, maybe the NFL needs to buckle and ask for less from Comcast and the other cable giants. It's just not fair for us fans to have to deal with this kind of nonsense.


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