May 1 was supposed to be the day that the NFL Network and Comcast needed to agree on a new contract before the cable company stopped carrying the network. But the channel will remain part of Comcast’s lineup, at least for now, as the two sides continue to negotiate. From the NFL:
“Comcast and the NFL are engaged in productive discussions toward a new agreement for NFL Network carriage on Comcast. NFL Network will continue to be carried on Comcast systems past tonight’s scheduled expiration of the current contract while both sides continue these productive discussions. We are both working to find a solution that works for NFL fans and Comcast’s customers.”
In other words, this is like union workers holding off going on strike even after a contract deadline. Apparently the two sides are still talking and could reach some sort of agreement on carriage.
Comcast has refused to carry the NFL Network on its basic tier, instead putting it on a special sports tier that costs extra. The main issue here is how much Comcast is willing to pay to put the network on a basic tier; until now, the cable company has argued the NFL is asking too much. The NFL wants to be able to get the same kind of distribution as Comcast provides for its own sports channels—the Golf Network and Versus.