In the most significant deal of its 9-month history, NFL Network yesterday signed a multiyear carriage agreement with Comcast. Although details were sketchy, the pigskin net noted that the deal includes heavy VOD and HD rights, and even HD VOD should Comcast decide to explore that avenue (the MSO is testing HD VOD in DC and outside Philly). Broadband rights aren’t part of the package since the NFL is locked into a deal with AOL. As an add-on to Comcast’s digital service, NFL Net will reach the majority of the MSO’s 8.1mln digisubs in 24 of 30 cities with pro football teams. Although NFL Net passes 44mln HHs, the net readily admits that only half are digital HHs, so it can be seen in roughly 22mln HHs with this deal. — Milestone: No net’s ever reached 20mln subs in its 1st year, according to Kagan Research. TNT came closest, racking up 19.9mln in its inaugural outing, followed by Nat Geo with 19.8mln. Comcast carriage kicks off this week in Baltimore, Atlanta and Jacksonville systems, NFL Net says.

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Trian Buys Comcast Shares

Hedge fund Trian Fund Management has taken an $870mln stake in Comcast . Trian has now accumulated approximately 20mln shares in the MVPD, according to a WSJ report. “We have recently begun what we believe

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