NEW YORK (AP) -Cable TV giant Comcast and the NFL Network must return to court to determine the kind of viewing package in which Comcast can put the network.
A state appeals court voted 4-0 Tuesday to reverse a lower court ruling that had allowed Comcast to distribute NFL Network games on a niche sports tier rather than a larger digital package with more viewers.
The appeals court said the language of the two agreements that govern the relationship between Comcast and the network, both signed Aug. 11, 2004, were too ``ambiguous'' to rule in favor of either side.
The lower court ruling by Justice Bernard Fried in Manhattan in May 2007 potentially could have cost the network millions of dollars a month.
and Dallas, which finished with the NFC's best records.
There was one exception: the final Saturday night game in which New England beat the New York Giants 38-35 to clinch an unbeaten regular season. Because there was so much clamor for the game to be seen nationally, the NFL decided to simulcast it on NBC and CBS.
The two teams met again in the Super Bowl with the Giants beating the Patriots 17-14 to ruin their unbeaten run.
The suit was filed by the NFL in October 2006 against the nation's largest cable television operator, in October 2006 after Comcast notified the league that it had decided to put the network on a sports tier with about 750,000 viewers.
Comcast said it was moving the network from a digital tier that is seen by more than 7 million of its 24 million cable customers. A tier carries a specific type of programming and is available to customers at an additional price over the cost of basic cable TV programming.
The NFL opposed the switch because, under an agreement between the two companies, Comcast had to pay the league 55 cents per subscriber each month. Comcast said it made the change because it did not want to charge customers the extra money for NFL programming they might not want in the digital tier.
The NFL argued that the plain language of one of the agreements prohibited Comcast from putting the network on a sports tier.
Both sides argued that the agreements were unambiguous, but the Appeals Court wrote, ``We conclude that they are reasonably susceptible to more than one interpretation, rendering summary judgment inappropriate.''
The appeals court sent the case back to the lower court judge for further proceedings that are consistent with the appellate decision.

Recent NFL Discussions

NFL / NBA .. Timmy learns no lessons on Sun, Jan 2017 by Timmy1961
Pitt ML on Sun, Jan 2017 by JBoppa
Pressure and speed defenses, cut and dry on Sun, Jan 2017 by Timmy1961
Pitt/Ne Play on Sun, Jan 2017 by Timmy1961
GB/ATL 2nd h on Sun, Jan 2017 by Timmy1961

Top NFL Public Bets

Advertisement

NFL Top Stories

Thumbnail AFC Championship Game Prediction Are the Steelers a good bet to cover versus the Patriots in tonight's AFC Championship Game at 6:40PM ET?
Thumbnail AFC Title Spread Holding Steady Kickoff of tonight's AFC Championship Game is set for 6:40PM ET between the Steelers and Patriots. Where is the point spread currently?
Thumbnail Public Bettors backing Patriots Are public bettors backing Tom Brady and the Patriots today in the AFC Championship Game, or the underdog Steelers at 6:40PM ET?
Thumbnail NFC Title First Player to Score Pick Who will score the first touchdown in the NFC Championship Game today at 3:05PM ET? Let's take a look at the odds first.
Thumbnail Packers vs. Falcons Prediction Will the Packers pull off the upset in Atlanta today at 3:05PM ET when they visit the Falcons for the 2017 NFC Championship Game?

NFL Team Pages