Time Warner Cable, NFL Network reach agreement after 3,243 days (updates with official announcement)
After 3,243 days, the long national nightmare is over.
Time Warner Cable and NFL Network officially announced a multiyear deal that will put the channel and NFL RedZone on the TWC system. The channels will make their debuts Sunday, and will have a full launch before Thursday.
"We're delighted to have reached an agreement for NFL Network and NFL RedZone that provides a good value to our customers," Melinda Witmer, executive vice president and chief video and content officer for Time Warner Cable, said in a statement. "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."
NFL Network will be available on the digital basic and Sports Pass tiers. NFL RedZone, which shows touchdowns from every Sunday afternoon game, will be available to Sports Pass customers. The Sports Pass tier is $5.95.
"We are excited to work with Time Warner Cable to bring fans football 24 hours a day, 365 days a year," NFL Network president and CEO Steve Bornstein said in a statement. "Time Warner Cable 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."
The dispute between the two sides, which started when NFL Network premiered on Nov. 4, 2003, was over where the channels should be placed. The NFL wanted NFL Network and NFL RedZone, which shows touchdowns from every game as it happens, on the basic tier. TWC thought it should be placed on its Sports Plus tier, where subscribers would have the option on whether or not they wanted the channel. Several other channels, such as NBA TV and NHL Network, are on that channel.
Cable companies around the country slowly added the channels. Some of the major players, like TWC and Cablevision, continued to hold out. NFL Network, which has televised a slate of late-season games on Thursday nights since 2006, added more games on Thursdays. That made the channel more attractive.
When Cablevision signed on last month, that left TWC as the only top-10 cable company without the channels. And the pressure started to mount.
The dispute finally came to an end Friday.
NFL Network will be on channel 631 (standard definition) and 1716 (high definition). NFL RedZone will be on channel 632 (SD) and 1717 (HD).