The National Football League and Time Warner (TWC) Cable Inc. ended a nine-year impasse by reaching an agreement that will make the league-owned NFL Network and RedZone Channel available to millions more U.S. homes.
The multiyear accord was announced yesterday in a joint statement from the league and Time Warner, which had been the only major cable provider without NFL Network.
Financial terms of the contract weren’t disclosed.
“We’re delighted to have reached an agreement for NFL Network and NFL RedZone that provides a good value to our customers,” said Melinda Witmer, executive vice president and chief video and content officer for New York-based Time Warner Cable, the second-largest U.S. cable company with about 12 million subscribers.
The channels will debut in Time Warner and Bright House Networks homes beginning tomorrow, with full launch before Sept. 27, when NFL Network is scheduled to show the Cleveland Browns at Baltimore Ravens.
Bright House Networks is the nation’s sixth-largest cable provider.
The agreement comes about a month after the most-watched U.S. sports league reached agreement with Cablevision Systems Corp. (CVC) to carry the two channels.
“It was inevitable,” cable television consultant Lee Berke said in a telephone interview. “Once the other carriers have it, then it would’ve put Time Warner at a competitive disadvantage.”
NFL Network will be placed on digital basic, while RedZone will be placed on Sports Pass, which includes NHL Network and Tennis Channel.
NFL Network airs 13 primetime regular-season games this season, up from eight last season. RedZone is a game-day network that shows touchdowns and important plays inside the 20-yard line.
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