NFL Net battle will spiral on


NEW YORK -- A New York judge has called for a replay in the dispute between the NFL and Comcast over the MSO moving the NFL Network to a premium sports tier.

Comcast in May had won a victory in its fight to keep the NFL Network on the sports tier. But on Tuesday, New York Supreme Court appellate judge Luis Gonzalez reversed the earlier court's order and sent it back to judicial scrimmage. For now, the network will remain on the sports tier.

At issue is whether Comcast had the right to move it from basic cable to the sports tier, where it would be seen by fewer people. Comcast said that it did; the NFL disagrees.

In his ruling, Gonzalez seemed less than impressed by either side's arguments. He said the court's hands were relatively tied "where the contractual provisions at issue are drafted in a manner that fail to eliminate significant ambiguities and the only extrinsic evidence is each party's self-serving statements regarding its own understanding of the agreement."

The two sides will get to further fight it out in court.

"We believe that today's decision ultimately will lead to the restoration of NFL Network service to the millions of fans who received it before the network was moved to an expensive sports tier," the NFL said.

Said Comcast, "We look forward to pressing ahead with discovery and trial in this case to vindicate our right to carry the NFL Network on a sports tier, which is the fairest and best result for our customers."