NFL Network could partner with ESPN

The Wall Street Journal reported Friday on its Web site that ESPN is in talks to partner with the NFL Network.

The paper, which sited unidentified sources, reported the two sides might combine the NFL Network with ESPN Classic.

Many cable operators, including Time Warner, have refused to carry the NFL Network.

The sides differ on how much cable customers should have to pay for NFL Network content. As a result, Time Warner customers did not see some NFL games that were carried exclusively on the NFL Network last year.

The Journal said the potential ESPN-NFL deal would "bring to a face-saving end an embarrassing episode for the NFL and a bitter stand-off between the league and four of the nation's largest cable operators."