On the Air
by Laura Nachman
Bucks County Courier Times
August 31, 2007

Comcast has benched the NFL Network from its digital package.

“In June, we began offering the NFL Network through our Sports Entertainment Pack,” Comcast spokesman Jeff Alexander said. “The impetus for moving the channel was to avoid having to pass the high cost of the network on to all Digital Cable customers.

“The NFL Network's fees increased dramatically last year when they started to carry late-season games. By offering the channel through the sports tier — which is the best and fairest way to provide this programming to our customers — viewers who want to watch it will be able to see it, while others who are not interested in this expensive programming won't be forced to pay for it.”

Comcast customers continue to receive the full schedule of NFL games aired on broadcast TV and ESPN, including all of their home team match-ups. The Sports Entertainment Pack includes Fox College Sports Atlantic, Fox College Sports Central, Fox College Sports Pacific, NBA TV, CSTV, NFL Network, Tennis Channel, Fox Soccer Channel, and Golf TV.

Not surprisingly, the NFL Network's version of the story is different.

“Comcast has taken NFL Network off its digital tier and moved us to their sports tier. So, technically they still carry us, but not to our liking,” NFL Network spokesman Seth Palansky said. “In fact, we fought this decision, don't agree with it and certainly receive no financial or other benefits from it. We have gone to the courts to try to get this decision overturned so our fans don't get hurt anymore.

“Comcast made this move but did not refund any money to any customers who were getting the channel as part of the digital package they subscribe to. It's a shame, but Comcast is clearly putting their profits ahead of the interests of their customers.”

Palansky added that frustrated viewers should visit www.iwantmynfl.com.

Jody Mac on "Post Game Live'

Sports Radio 950's Jody McDonald has been pinch-hitting on “Phillies Post Game Live” during the New York Mets series. Besides his regular job on 950, McDonald hosts a show on ESPN 1050-AM in New York during the weekend. McDonald grew up with the game. His father, Joe, was general manager of the Mets and St. Louis Cardinals.

Bloom + Gaither = Bloomer

“The Jeremy Bloom and Omar Gaither Show” hosted by Mike Gill premieres on ESPN 1450 (Atlantic City) on Sept. 10. It will be broadcast every Monday during football season from Chickie's and Pete's in Egg Harbor Township, N.J.

E-MAIL: lauranachman@verizon.net

August 31, 2007 5:39 AM