Wednesday, February 01, 2006

The NFL Sacks Comcast

Kurt Badenhausen writes on

While football fans gear up for Sunday's Super Bowl, National Football League executives have been busy with an off-the-field game of their own. The competition ended last Friday night, when the NFL concluded months of negotiations over the broadcast rights to eight of next season's games by deciding to keep them for itself and the league-owned NFL Network.

The decision gives the league a package that begins with a 2006 Thanksgiving Day broadcast and includes seven additional games, which will air on Thursdays or Saturdays for the rest of the regular season. The move means the NFL is passing on an easy short-term gain, as cable giant Comcast was believed to be prepared to pay $400 million for the broadcast rights. Instead, league owners are making a long-term bet that they can turn the NFL Network into a must-have cable channel that will ultimately be worth a fortune.


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