Comcast's Versus is ready for some football

Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA) executives have long bellyached about the high cost of ESPN's affiliate fees. Now, perhaps, the MSO is taking a more subversive approach to attacking the problem. Comcast's Versus channel--a sort of mini-ESPN with aspirations--is looking to bulk up by buying the rights to eight early-season Thursday night NFL football games.

This is, of course, not a straight run through the middle of the line for the folks from Philadelphia. First there's the little issue of whether there will even be an NFL season this year. Then there's the price--reportedly $700 million per year. Finally there's the competition: Turner's TNT, better known for major league sports coverage than Versus, is also in the running.

Still, as Business Insider concedes, Comcast is not to be overlooked in the sports arena--not after it outbid everyone for the Olympics to say nothing of its locally potent Comcast Sports Net and national powerful NBC broadcast group.

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