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SBD/Issue 167/Sports Media
NFL Near Extensions With CBS, Fox; NFL Net-Comcast Deal Close
Published May 18, 2009
|If Broadcasters Agree To Extensions, CBS Will
Broadcast Super Bowl In '13, Fox In '14
IN-GAME STRATEGY: SI.com's Peter King noted extensions with Fox and CBS allowed the NFL to "move close to a deal with Comcast, because the league could give the cable giant a valuable chip in the Red Zone Channel to use on Sundays." Part of the NFL's "motivation to deal with Comcast and the networks, surely, was its desire to be able to use the Red Zone Channel on cable instead of only on satellite, and NBC wasn't part of the Red Zone deal." NFL Net sources "feared that without wider distribution, some owners tired of the five-year fight for wider distribution of the Network would have soon moved to kill the channel in the current bad economy." King reported NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has been the "key player in the deal from the NFL side," working with Comcast Chair & CEO Brian Roberts "to bridge the major differences between the two sides." King added it "could be that the league is intent on getting the deal done with Comcast first, then moving on to the second-biggest of the Big Cables, Time Warner, with the framework of a concept in place" (SI.com, 5/17).