As we mentioned early last month, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has made Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones the head of the league's NFL Network committee, charging Jones with getting the league's channel on cable services -- among them, Comcast, Time Warner, Charter and Cablevision -- that claim the network's too expensive to carry. As The New York Times points out this morning, only 8 million of the NFL Network's 35 million subscribers are cable customers.
And Jones certainly has a vested interest in getting the NFL Network into more cable-wired homes: The net will carry eight games this season, and the Cowboys will twice be featured on the network, first on November 29 against the Green Bay Packers and again on December 22 against the Carolina Panthers. ''The eight games are a very definitive attempt to say the NFL Network is here to stay,'' Jones tell The Times. ''It's long term, and if it's not eight games, it could be 16.'' The league has also launched a Web site that attacks cable companies -- which "raise rates and stifle competition -- and are now denying you access to football 24:7 on NFL Network." So Mark Cuban's going after DirecTV, and Jerry's going after cable. And Tom Hicks? Well, c'mon, he ruined radio. --Robert Wilonsky