In a previous post, a reader asked why Comcast SportsNet is not available for DirecTV subscribers.
The reader raises a number of questions, but here’s the short answer:
Because of the type of technology used to deliver the network to individual cable companies, we are not required to make it available to satellite companies because Congress wanted to foster local competition. Comcast goes beyond what is required and does share the network with competitors to Comcast including Verizon, RCN, and some other smaller providers. The satellite companies have a fair amount of exclusive programming of their own, most notably the NFL Sunday ticket, which is not available to any cable customer in the country, Comcast or otherwise, but such exclusivity allows for competitors to distinguish themselves. It is also worth pointing out that this is the same technology that our predecessor network, PRISM, used, in which Comcast had no stake.
A few other points:
Comcast does make the NFL Network available to any customers that want it.
Comcast does not carry out-of-market regional sports networks, as the reader states. However, all pro content on out-of-market RSNs is blacked out per league rules. For example, if we carried NESN, home of the Red Sox, here is Philadelphia, all the games would be blacked out. We do carry league-administered out-of-market packages (MLB extra innings, NHL Center Ice and the NBA out of market package. As mentioned above, the NFL package is not available for us to carry because of the exclusive deal with DirecTV.
Hope this helps to clarify things.