There seems to be some confusion on the difference between the NFL Network and the NFL Sunday Ticket.

NFL Network airs seven days a week, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. It has nearly 2,000 hours a year of original programming including programs such as  NFL Total Access, NFL GameDay, Top 10, Playbook, NFL Replay and  NFL Classic Games.

The network also carries AFL and CFL games, the Senior Bowl, the NFL Draft, Hall of Fame ceremony and the NFL Scouting Combine.

It is also home to Thursday Night Football, which features eight regular-season games, starting Nov. 10 with Oakland and San Diego. St. Charles native Brad Nessler does the play-by-play and Mike Mayock is the analyst.

Meanwhile, The NFL Sunday Ticket is a package allows access to all local channels, meaning you can watch any NFL game offered on Sunday. There's a price, however; the package costs between $150 and $200.

The NFL Network is located on both the Charter Digital View Plus and Sports View channel 423, and is available at no additional charge for customers with a Charter HD receiver on channel 743.

There is also the NFL Red Zone, which is produced by NFL Network and  whips around every NFL game on Sunday afternoons when a team goes inside the 20-yard line. The channel keeps fans up-to-date in real time, switching from game to game with live look-ins and  highlights.

The NFL Red Zone is located on the Sports View channel 424  and is available at no additional charge for customers with a Charter HD receiver on channel 744.

If you subscribe to the Sports View, you will receive both NFL Network and NFL Red Zone., and if you subscribe to just the Digital View Plus tier, you will receive NFL Network plus 58 other channels.

Cost?  Both Digital View Plus and Sports View are available for $10 per month each. According to Charter, right now there's a three for $20 offer – Sports View, Digital View Plus and HD Ultra View.

Around the tube

• KAAL-TV is carrying Saturday night's Vikings-Cowboys preseason game from the Metrodome at 7 o'clock. The game thus preempts ABC's coverage of the Irwin Tools Night Race, the NASCAR Sprint Cup race from Bristol, Tenn. The race will be shown locally here on ESPN2.

• The Packers-Colts preseason game is on at 7 p.m. Saturday on CBS.

• New York Jets legend Joe Namath will visit the Late Show with David Letterman at 10:35 p.m. Tuesday on CBS. Tuesday is the 18th anniversary of the Late Show on CBS.

• The new 24/7 University of Texas-focused Longhorn Network will launch at 6 p.m. today.

• ESPN’s Monday Night Football game between the Bears and Giants on Monday delivered a 4.5 rating, averaging 4,456,000 households and 5,853,000 viewers, making it the third highest-rated preseason game on ESPN in the past five years. Through its first three preseason games, MNF is averaging a 3.9 rating, 3,853,000 households and 5,086,000 viewers, slight increases in all categories from a year ago.

• The RCTC season opener against Northland st St. Cloud State University airs at 7 p.m. today on KWEB-AM (1270).

* Tennis anyone? CBS Sports has over 37 hours of the U.S. Open, starting next Saturday. This is the 44th season for the Open on CBS.

Meanwhile, ESPN2 has over 100 hours of coverage, starting at noon Monday. There will be at least 10 hours of coverage through both the day and evening sessions.

Paul Christian is a Post-Bulletin sports reporter. He writes a weekly Friday column dealing with TV and radio sports and can be reached at pchristian@postbulletin.com or (507) 285-7722.

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