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The NFL Network vs. Time Warner battle continues...

ESPN.com’s John Helyar does a nice job summarizing the NFL Network vs. Cable Programming battle that continues to ensue. In short, the NFL is demanding outrageous fees that the cable providers are refusing to pay. The NFL Network also wants their programming on basic cable; not any type of sports tier.  The NFL has even sued a cable provider for putting the NFL network on a sports tier.

The NFL Network has sued Comcast over the cable company's plans to put the network on a premium-priced sports tier in systems acquired from Time Warner and Adelphia. The network also is embroiled in litigation with Charter Communications. The third-largest cable operator (5.9 million subscribers) signed on as the NFL Network's first big cable provider in January 2004, but the network hasn't been on Charter since December 2005 because of a basic-versus-premium dispute.

As growing confidence in their stance continues, the NFL network says point blank, the NFL is "TV’s most valuable programming."

"It's 2006, and [for fans] not to be able to see a live NFL game should not be a reality," Palansky says. "The big guys like to feel some serious pain before they're reasonable."

Palansky fails to mention that it’s the NFL demands that are preventing people from watching a live NFL game on their network. Then the "NFL spokesman" acts like a seventh grader that can’t play on the swing-set because there’s no space available.

I don't blame Time Warner and the cable companies as much as most do. Television programming in general is skyrocketing costs and that trickles to the subscribers. Yes, a battle between multi-billion dollar companies makes most of us roll our eyes when costs create a stalemate on an agreement -- justifiably so. But in the end, this battle will affect us. Either we get the NFL network on basic cable increasing rates that puts more "to owe" on your bill or we don't get the network at all. And no, I don't want to see an increase on my bill just to get a few NFL games on television. I miss 13 games weekly. So missing one the NFL Network makes no difference to me. (The Bengals vs. Ravens on Thursday's NFL Network will be shown on local television, so we won't miss that)

What are your thoughts? Make your selection in the poll to the right.

Chiefs and Broncos on TV? Only for some [ESPN.com]