NFL to File Response to Comcast at FCC

National Football League scheduled to file response to FCC in ongoing battle with Comcast over carriage of NFL Network.

The National Football League is scheduled to file its response to the Federal Communications Commission Thursday in its ongoing battle with Comcast over carriage of NFL Network.

The network filed a program-carriage complaint over Comcast's placement of it on a sports tier rather than a more widely viewed basic tier. Comcast responded, and now it's the NFL's turn.

Comcast said the network belongs on a sports tier, calling it a reasonable business decision and pointing to other cable operators that either carry the channel on a sports tier as well or not at all.

In its complaint, NFL Network told the FCC the cable operator discriminated against the channel by putting it on a premium digital-sports tier for which customers must pay, while carrying its own sports channels on the more widely viewed analog-basic tier that costs no extra.

Elsewhere, the two sides agreed to seek a mediator in their contract dispute filed by the NFL in a New York State court over the same issue of carriage on a sports tier.

Comcast has argued that the FCC should hold off on deciding on the NFL's complaint while the New York state case is pending. "We're in the process of arranging mediation," a Comcast spokeswoman said.