Behind the Broadcast: Time Warner now only cable system not carrying NFL Network
As far as the NFL Network is concerned, Time Warner Cable is now on the clock.
Cablevision and the NFL Network announced an agreement Thursday that they reached a multiyear agreement to have the channel, along with NFL RedZone (a live look-in channel) on the cable system. The channel debuts on Cablevision today.
That means eight of the top nine cable companies in the country are providing NFL Network to its subscribers. The lone holdout? Time Warner Cable.
The dispute between TWC and NFL Network, which is now in is 3,210th day, has been over where the channel should be placed. NFL Network wants to be on basic cable, but TWC wants to place it on its Sports Pass package. The Sports Pass package has channels like NHL Network, NBA TV and CBS Sports Network. It is an additional $5.95 for those channels.
But with Cablevision signing up with NFL Network, TWC will now feel the pressure from its customers who want NFL Network. The channel now has a regular Thursday night schedule of 13 games, and fans who have TWC won’t be able to see those games.
If TWC continues to hold its stance, it could lose subscribers to DirecTV and Dish Network. It’s time to get a deal done.
NFL Media chief operating officer Brian Rolapp spoke about the situation with Time Warner during a conference call Thursday.
“We are not talking, regrettably, so, as a result, we’re obviously not close,” Rolapp said. “The issues for us are a bit perplexing. Certainly, with this Cablevision deal, and you look at the rest of the pay-TV universe, the market has been cleared for some time around the NFL Network and the RedZone, both in levels of distribution and pricing, and everything else. We believe there were plenty of reasons to carry the NFL Network before this season and the RedZone; there are now even more with these 13 games which we’ve not asked for substantial price increases from anyone for these extra games.
“Time Warner recently also dropped the NFL Network to customers on former Insight systems, mainly in the Cincinnati market and others. They acquired Insight. Insight had been a partner of the NFL since 2005. We actually offered to extend that agreement for one year at zero price increase; in fact, just change the date on the agreement, and let’s not deprive fans of service. We wouldn’t ask for more money, even though we were putting more games on the network, and they refused that. Why they’re not carrying the network is a better question for them. Clearly the rest of the industry is and is happy with it; they have struck deals, they are renewing deals and the level of the service and the quality of the service speaks for itself.”
Jennifer Reed Holick, communications manager for TWC Albany, said, “We remain hopeful that we can reach a resolution. But we have been close before, only to have it fall apart, so we need to be cautious about predicting success.”
Capital Region viewers who either subscribe to TWC or don’t have a cable or satellite provider won’t be able to watch tonight’s NFL preseason game between the Giants and Jets at 7 because it’s a Jets’ home game, and they have the TV rights. If it had been a Giants’ home game, it would have been on NBC13 (WNYT).
The game is being carried by NFL Network, which is available on DirecTV and Dish Network.
You can listen to the game on radio. WPYX-FM (106.5) will have the Giants’ broadcast. The Jets’ broadcast will be joined in progress by ESPN Radio 104.5 The Team (WTMM) after the Boston Red Sox-New York Yankees game.
Pac-12 on TWCS
Meanwhile, TWC did add a sports channel this week.
The Pac-12 Network made its debut Wednesday. It is part of TWC’s Sports Pass, and is available on channel 687 (standard definition) and channel 1848 (high definition).
TWC subscribers to Sports Pass will also be able to watch Pac-12 live via the TWC TV app. Additionally, subscribers will have access to the network via TV Everywhere, giving them the ultimate Pac-12 experience when they’re on the go. Customers simply need to log in with their TWC ID to verify their subscription at video.pac-12.com.
Viewers tuned into the Summer Olympics in London in record numbers for the channels of NBCUniversal, according to the company and The Nielsen Company.
A total of 219.4 million Americans watched the London Olympics on the networks of NBCUniversal, setting the record as the most-watched event in U.S. television history, surpassing the 2008 Beijing Olympics (215 million).
NBCUniversal televised a record 5,535 hours across NBC, NBC Sports Network, MSNBC, CNBC, Bravo, Telemundo, NBCOlympics.com, two specialty channels and the first-ever 3D platform. That easily surpassed the coverage of the Beijing Olympics by nearly 2,000 hours.
An average of 31 million viewers tuned in to Sunday night’s closing ceremony on NBC. It’s the most-watched for a non-U.S. Summer Olympics in 36 years, topped Beijing by 12 percent and Athens by 58 percent.
NBC said it averaged 31.1 million viewers over 17 nights in prime time, making it the most-watched non-U.S. Summer Olympics since the 1976 Montreal Olympics. It topped Beijing by 12 percent and Athens by 26 percent.
Also, the 17.5 rating and 30 share over 17 nights in prime time ties the 1988 Seoul Olympics as the highest-rated non-U.S. Summer Olympics since Montreal.
“The London Olympics was a wonderful 17 days for NBCUniversal, exceeding all our expectations in viewership, digital consumption and revenue,” NBCUniversal chief executive officer Steve Burke said in a statement. “Every part of our company contributed to our success, once again showing how effective we can be when we all get together to support a large project. This was the first Olympic Games for Comcast and the new NBCUniversal, and the first in history in which every minute of every event was available live. We are proud to have been part of the last two weeks, and we couldn’t have asked for a better start to our long run of Olympic Games through 2020.”
NBC Sports Group chairman Mark Lazarus said in a statement, “For 17 days, NBCUniversal has surrounded the American viewer with the London Olympics, which have now become the most-watched event in U.S. television history. There are thousands of dedicated and talented people in London and New York who take great pride in being part of these historic Games and this television milestone.”
The top five cities were Salt Lake City (25.0/45), Kansas City, Mo. (22.5/37), Milwaukee (22.3/37), Denver (22.1/42) and Columbus, Ohio (21.9/36). New York was in a five-way tie for 26th (18.2/31), while Boston was 44th (16.8/31).