I can’t even begin to imagine the gall it takes for a television network that broadcasts a scant three to six hours of live, relevant programming a week to begin demanding that cable companies offer the network in their lowest-tier basic programming packages… but that’s exactly what the NFL Network is doing this year, and quite a few cable companies are telling the network to go screw itself. And that means that with this Thursday’s first of eight prime-time games that are being shunted onto the NFL Network, nearly two-thirds of the nation’s television-containing homes won’t be able to watch. In that news story, NFL Network spokesman Seth Palansky says that these eight games are “the most valuable programming a cable company can offer, and a cable company not carrying live NFL games is like a grocery store not carrying milk”; I’m pretty sure a more accurate analogy would be that the grocery stores are refusing to do business with a single dairy company that only deigns to bottle its product for three hours on eight random days of the year, and the rest of the year distributes three-month-old yogurt and cottage cheese.

Fun fun fun — since Shannon and I will be in the heart of southern New Jersey for the holiday (and almost certainly won’t have access to the NFL Network), I guess we’ll be watching the primetime game via DirecTV and the SlingBox…


The cable companies pull crap like this and then they are surprised when their customers resort to things like bit torrent and p2p to get programming they care about. They won’t sell us a la carte programming, they won’t give us the programming we want and they could care less what their customers think until the NFL is willing to write a big enough check to them. It wouldn’t be so bad, except most local communities only have one cable provider to choose from.

• Posted by: davis freeberg on Nov 21, 2006, 10:36 PM

I live in Needham, MA, and have always been a RCN subscriber. Needham has both RCN and Comcast. Even though we have always had the NFL Network, tonight I learned that RCN will not be broadcasting the NFL games on the NFL Network.

Comcast is broadcasting the NFL games on the NFL Network. I will be switching carriers as soon as possible.

• Posted by: Gary Feldman on Nov 23, 2006, 10:46 PM
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