Comcast has reached an agreement with the National Football League (NFL) to restore two of its pay television channels to subscribers of Xfinity TV, the companies announced on Tuesday.
The agreement was hammered out about 24 hours after Comcast dropped NFL Network and NFL RedZone from its Xfinity TV lineup following the expiration of a carriage agreement for those channels.
The move had the potential to impact fans of fantasy football the most over the next few months, as NFL Network regularly covers the post-draft contract signings, trades and other business matters related to the roster formation of its 32 teams heading into football season. NFL RedZone is dormant during the summer months.
There was little reason to believe Comcast and the NFL wouldn’t reach a new agreement before the start of football season: NFL Network is widely sought by sports fans on pay TV systems like Xfinity TV, and disputes involving the NFL’s contracts with other pay TV platforms are typically resolved around the start of the season.
“We’ve reached a new agreement with NFL Network and NFL RedZone and are pleased to provide their content to our customers,” a Comcast spokesperson said in a statement e-mailed to The Desk. Financial terms of the agreement weren’t disclosed, and it wasn’t clear if Comcast’s new contract for the channels would result in a fee increase for its customers.
The NFL Network and NFL RedZone aren’t the only destinations for football fans to get their fix: The NFL has its own free, ad-supported streaming network called the NFL Channel that is distributed on Pluto TV, Tubi and other places. NFL Channel offered live look-ins during the recent 2023 NFL Draft, and rebroadcasts Sunday afternoon games played on CBS and Fox during the regular season.
Google’s YouTube TV is also an attractive option for football fans: It offers NFL Network as part of its $73 a month base television package and NFL RedZone in the “Sports Plus” add-on pack, which costs an extra $11 a month. NFL RedZone is also part of YouTube TV’s new NFL Sunday Ticket package, which costs $390 per season (or $290 during a special pre-sale that ends in early June). NFL Sunday Ticket without NFL RedZone is $350 per season (or $250 during the pre-sale).