Comcast to Kerry: We Already Have NFL Network Carriage Deal

Comcast Says It Offers National Football League's Cable Channel on Sports Entertainment Package

The nation's largest cable company, Comcast, told Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) that it already has a carriage agreement with NFL Network and that the channel is already available to anyone who wishes to buy it as part of its Sports Entertainment Package.

"Those customers who want the NFL Network can choose to pay for it (by subscribing to our affordable Sports Entertainment Package)," said Comcast executive vice president David Cohen, "while the vast majority of our customers who have no interest in receiving this expensive network do not need to be saddled with its cost."

Cohen was responding to Kerry's letter asking for a meeting with him, Time Warner Cable president Glenn Britt (Time Warner does not carry the network) and National Football League commissioner Roger Goodell in Washington, D.C., next week about finding a way to let more viewers see the New England Patriots at New York Giants game Dec. 29, which is currently on NFL Network (and broadcast outlets in those two markets).

Cohen said he could not meet with Kerry, citing prior commitments, but he added that "given that existing affiliation aggreement, we are not sure that we have anything further to discuss with the NFL."

Comcast suggested that the NFL could put the game on broadcast TV, as it does other games, to ensure the widest possible viewership for the "potentially historic game."