The NFL Network May 6 filed a complaint against Comcast with the Federal Communications Commission, charging the cable operator with “discriminatory and anti-competitive treatment,” which it contends violates terms in the 1992 Cable Act.
NFL Network had previously given Comcast 10 days notice, as required by law, that it planned to file the complaint.
The complaint alleges that Comcast carries its own sports networks on its cable basic tier, while mandating that the NFL Network be placed on a premium pay tier, which creates an unfair competitive advantage for its own networks.
The NFL Network is alleging that Comcast is “retaliating against NFL Network because the NFL decided not to sell an annual package of eight regular-season games to a Comcast-owned sports network (Versus).”
The network contends that Comcast’s action has deliberately kept NFL Network’s distribution down so that its own network can get better content because it has more subscribers, and cites a carriage deal for Pac-10/Big 12 Conference football games that went to Comcast’s Versus rather than NFL Network because Versus had a larger distribution audience.
Comcast did not issue an immediate response.