In a deal that was close to 10 years in the making, Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks have scored a deal for carriage of NFL Network and NFL RedZone.
Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks were the last holdouts among the top six biggest cable operators in the United States to reach a deal with the NFL after Cablevision announced it had come to terms about a month ago.
While the NFL, which owns the NFL Network, continues to resonate with its fans, cable operators have been struggling to retain their video subscribers. Time Warner Cable, the nation’s second-largest cable operator, and Bright House Networks, the sixth-largest, needed to strike a deal with the NFL in order to keep pace with the competition. Time Warner Cable’s footprint includes Los Angeles, while Bright House Networks serves a large area in Florida, including Tampa Bay. Cablevision’s footprint includes the tri-state area of the New York City metro area.
The multi-year deal, which was announced Friday, was supposed to partially be in effect this past weekend, but it officially kicks off for this Thursday night’s live game between the Baltimore Ravens and the Cleveland Browns.
“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 Time Warner Cable. “The additional games this year and the proven appeal of NFL RedZone will certainly prove to be a draw for our customers. We look forward to a long and productive relationship with the NFL.”
Prior to the deal, Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks subscribers weren’t able to watch the live games that NFL Network carried on Thursday nights. This season, the NFL rewarded its own network with a slate of 13 games, which is five more than it offered last year.
Time Warner Cable brokered the deal on behalf of Bright House Networks. Financial terms and the length of the agreement weren’t available.
“We thank our customers for their patience while a fair deal was reached for all involved,” said Steve Miron, CEO of Bright House Networks. “It is especially rewarding to say yes to our customers who have requested NFL Network’s award-winning coverage.”
Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks are major cable providers in the home markets for 12 NFL teams (Buffalo, Carolina, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dallas, Green Bay, Indianapolis, Kansas City, New York – Giants and Jets – San Diego and Tampa). For Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks, NFL Network will be available on the Digital Basic and Sports Pass tiers, and NFL RedZone will be available to Sports Pass customers.
NFL RedZone shows highlights and touchdowns from every NFL game in progress on Sundays. The channel keeps fans up to date in real time by switching from game to game with live look-ins and highlights.
“We are excited to work with Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks to bring fans football 24 hours a day, 365 days a year,” said NFL Network President and CEO Steve Bornstein. “Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks subscribers will be able to enjoy our weekly Thursday Night Football schedule, our award-winning Sunday NFL GameDay shows, NFL Total Access, NFL Films programming and much more. In addition, the NFL RedZone channel is a truly exciting way to enhance your Sunday football viewing experience each and every week.”