Comcast Corp and the U.S. National Football League (NFL) are close to a deal in which the league-owned NFL Network would be put on a widely distributed tier of the cable operator, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday, citing people familiar with the talks.

Under the terms being discussed, the largest U.S. cable TV operator will pay a monthly fee of about 50 cents for each of its estimated 17.3 million subscribers that receive Comcast's expanded digital basic menu of channels, the paper said.

The league has asked for about 70 cents per subscriber, but has been unable to get the biggest U.S. cable providers to accept its terms, the paper said.

The NFL Network currently has limited penetration as large cable providers offer it only as a part of a premium package, priced at an extra $8 per month, the paper said.

Comcast and the NFL could not be immediately reached for comment by Reuters.

(Reporting by Ajay Kamalakaran in Bangalore; Editing by Dan Lalor)