NFL and Comcast Finally Strike A Deal

Good news for those of you who are Comcast cable subscribers. The war between Comcast and the National Football League over the NFL Network is over.

Both sides announced this morning that they have reached a new, long-term agreement regarding carriage of the NFL Network. For the last two years, much to the NFL’s chagrin, Comcast has been carrying the NFL Network on its Sports Entertainment tier, which required subscribers to pay an additional monthly fee for it.

The NFL wanted it on Comcast’s digital tier, along with ESPN, Versus, the Golf Channel and other sports networks. It initially was on that tier, but was moved to the sports tier when the NFL began broadcasting live games on the NFL Network and increased its subscriber fee to Comcast.

In exchange for moving the NFL Network back to its basic cable tier, Comcast will receive video on demand for its digital customers and the ability to offer the NFL’s RedZone Channel when it is created. The RedZone Channel will provide live look-ins to NFL games.

The league also has agreed to reduce its subscriber fee.

``We are delighted to have come to an agreement with the NFL,’’ Comcast Chairman and CEO Brian L. Roberts said in a statement. ``Our goal has always been to provide our digital customers with access to the NFL’s unique content and, working together, we have struck the right balance between value and distribution on a variety of viewing platforms. We are looking forward to bringing the NFL’s programming to our customers just in time for the start of the NFL season.’’

The switch back to Comcast’s digital tier will dramatically increase the NFL Network’s subscriber base. It lost more than 6 million subscribers when Comcast switched it to its Sports and Entertainment tier.