New York Comcast, the nation's largest cable company, has sent a cease-and-desist letter to the NFL Network demanding the channel's representatives stop encouraging fans to leave the cable provider.
Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, the outspoken chairman of the league's NFL Network committee, has urged customers of Comcast and other large cable providers who don't carry the network on a basic tier to switch to satellite or other cable services that do.
The channel's iwantnflnetwork.com Web site includes a box titled "MAKE THE SWITCH." Above a field to enter a zip code, the text reads, "Switch to a TV provider that will bring you NFL Network, not hold you hostage."
The letter, dated Monday, contends that such actions violate the contract between the network and Comcast.
"The legal arguments are without merit, and Comcast subscribers who are dropping that service do not need encouragement from us," said NFL Network spokesman Seth Palansky, who added that network executives had not yet received the letter.
The two sides have gone to court over their agreement. The NFL Network sued Comcast after the cable provider decided to move the channel from its basic digital tier to a premium sports tier that customers must pay extra to receive.