The NFL network is currently dealing with two major cable providers. DishNetwork and the network settled on a deal that would keep NFLN on their second tier 200 channel lineup after it was demoted to that status for breach of contract (they simulcast the pats-giants 16-0 game a few years back. big whoop). The network is now locked up in a legal fight with Comcast.
Comcast refuses to move NFLN from their sports package into one of their digital lineups. Comcast says that the 70 cents per viewer NFL charges is simply too much for a channel they believe caters to a small demographic. As a spectator, it looks more like Comcast uses the network to try to get people to buy their Sports Package.
If Comcast wants people to buy their sports entertainment package then why don’t they include all the dedicated sports channels in it? The answer is pretty simple: because if they included MLB network, ESPN classic, ESPNews, and the Golf Channel on the sports entertainment package, then many would drop the digital classic package. This is because without the sports channels, the digital classic (aka digital preferred) package is borderline unwatchable.
This is a package that includes such great channels as: SoapNet, Style, Toon Disney, VH-1 Classic (if you missed Rock of Love last year), Fox reality, and WE. I understand that these channels have viewers, and I’m not trying to say these viewers have bad taste in television, but I do believe NFLN has more of an audience than MTV Jams.
The Digital Preferred package just seems like one that Comcast gets for cheap. In turn they charge the viewers through the teeth even though they probably picked up the package for one or two channels.
The fact that they throw MLBnetwork on with the digital classic package is even more infuriating. The network was originally promised to be a basic cable channel and is a digital basic with many cable providers. With Comcast, this is not the case.
Comcast has found a way to make sports fans have to order both their digital preferred and their sports entertainment packages to feed even the smallest fix. The preferred package is nothing without the sports channels, and the Sports package would lose a majority of its subscribers if they lost the NFL network. This is not even to mention that ESPNU is not even available on Comcast which has burnt Uconn fans for years now.
My advice to Comcast: help the consumer out and throw the sports channels on the Sports package.
My advice to the sports fan: switch to the Dish Network.