Thursday, January 24, 2008


Comcast's and Time Warner's holy war continues against NFL Network, but the football channel now has an ally with even higher power.

In fact, some would say Almighty.

NFL Net signed a distribution deal with Sky Angel, a self proclaimed "Christian-Centered" subscription service based in Naples, Fl. Founded in 1980, Sky Angel was originally delivered to homes via satellite, but is now changing to internet delivery to televisions via set top boxes. Sky Angel's IPTV service is currently taking pre-orders for an expected launch next month. The company will not say how many satellite subscribers it has or how many IPTV subscribers it expects.

One thing Sky Angel does not have is a wealth of sports programming. NFL Network joins a sports line up that consists of networks such as Tennis Channel and The Sportsman Channel.

Make that only consists of Tennis Channel and The Sportsman Channel.

Golf Channel? Nope. Versus? Sorry. None of the 5 ESPN networks are offered either. Then again, Dana Jacobson is clearly not Sky Angel material.

The World Wide Leader has plenty of company. Sky Angel's line-up does not include many "traditional" channels across the board.

How will NFL Network mesh with Sky Angel's other programming? CEO Rob Johnson says, “NFL Network fits in with our desire to provide America with more programming that the entire family can enjoy together.”

We're betting Johnson's entire family hasn't seen "NFL Cheerleading Playoffs" or the cheerleading documentary series "Making Of The Squad".

It has been widely reported that NFL Network charges secular cable companies and satellite providers 70 cents per customer, per month. Details of how much Sky Angel will pay per customer were not released.

Regardless, while their deal with Sky Angel may only amount to a few pennies from heaven, it's now clear that NFL Network is "On A Mission from God".

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