The Shameful Specter of Politics
posted at 2/2/2008 10:59 AM EST
COMCAST SUIT: NFL NETWORK IN BREACH
By PETER LAURIA
December 15, 2007 -- It's Brian Roberts vs. Jerry Jones in the latest round of legal wrangling between cable operators and the NFL Network.
Roberts-led Comcast late Thursday night filed a lawsuit against the NFL Network - where Jones is the chairman of the committee charged with negotiating carriage deals with television providers - alleging breach of contract.
According to the lawsuit, filed in New York Supreme Court, Comcast claims the NFL Network breached its contract with the cable operator by embarking on a "multimillion dollar marketing campaign to drive Comcast's customers to its competitors."
The NFL Network in general, and Jones in particular, has publicly encouraged cable subscribers who don't get the channel - or are required to pay extra to access it, as Comcast subscribers are - to "make the switch" to other television providers that offer the channel, including DirecTV, EchoStar, Verizon FiOS and AT&T's U-verse.
Specifically, Comcast notes in its lawsuit that the NFL Network "has sent multiple mass e-mailings aimed at Comcast subscribers with the subject line 'Comcast wants you to pay more for NFL Network.' "
In response to the lawsuit, NFL Network spokesman Seth Palansky said, "It seems to us that after repeatedly telling you and us that its customers don't care about our channel, Comcast seems to be a little nervous about our perfectly legitimate efforts to make sure consumers know all of their options for getting the NFL Network."
Thursday's lawsuit traces its roots to a prior round of litigation between Comcast and the NFL Network that began last year.
At that time, the NFL Network sued Comcast, claiming the cable operator must offer the channel on an expanded basic tier available to all subscribers rather than on a sports tier available for an additional monthly fee.
The New York Supreme Court in May ruled that Comcast was well within its rights and said the company "is entitled to distribute the NFL Network on a sports tier under the agreements between the parties."
Comcast shares closed at $18.14, up 10 cents.
And a little more info, its so easy to find if you look... Specter has is own agendas, aiding Comcast and pressuring the NFL to cave to their demands is one of them.