Comcast and NFL reach carriage agreement

Tue May 19, 2009 5:59pm EDT
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By Yinka Adegoke

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Comcast Corp said on Tuesday it has reached a new long-term agreement to carry National Football League games on its cable systems, after settling their outstanding legal disputes.

The two sides have clashed for several years over financial and strategic terms, but both said they will drop their pending legal actions before the U.S. Federal Communications Commission and a New York state court.

The new agreement consists of an array of video content, including the live Network, video on demand for Comcast's Digital Classic cable customers and the ability to offer the NFL's RedZone Channel when it is created.

The NFL also said on Tuesday that it signed two-year extensions on broadcast agreements with CBS and Fox. The networks' deals now run through the 2013-2014 season.

Financial terms were not disclosed for any of the deals.

Comcast will start repositioning the NFL Network from its sports package to the digital tier of service with a full launch by Aug 1, reaching more than 10 million Comcast digital customers, up from just 2 million on the Comcast sports tier.

"We always said we were interested in a broader distribution and that we didn't want to see an extra charge in a smaller distribution like the sports tier," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said on a conference call.

"We believe were able to reach that compromise with Comcast."   Continued...

<p>Top prospects stand together on stage before the start of the 2009 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall in New York, April 25, 2009. REUTERS/Mike Segar</p>