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Time Warner to carry NFL Network

September 22, 2012
By RACHEL COHEN , The Associated Press

NEW YORK - Time Warner Cable agreed to carry the NFL Network on Friday, ending the last major holdout in the channel's long-running push into more homes.

The NFL Network as well as NFL RedZone will be available on Time Warner - Hawaii's main cable provider - and Bright House Networks starting Sunday.

For subscribers to Oceanic Time Warner's digital cable package, the NFL Network will be available on channel 203, and the high-definition version will be on 1203.

Customers who have Oceanic's "Sports Pass" - which currently offers ESPN Classic, the NHL Network, Fuel TV, NBA TV, the Tennis Channel, Fox Sports, the CBS Sports Network and the Big Ten Network, according to oceanic.

com - will also get NFL RedZone. It will be on channel 204, and the HD version will be on 1204.

Oceanic subscribers to analog cable, the most basic level, will see no change.

If a rate increase were to occur, it would typically take place in March, said Oceanic president Bob Barlow.

RedZone, produced by NFL Network, whips around to every NFL game on Sunday afternoons, showing touchdowns and other key plays.

Time Warner is the second-largest cable provider in the U.S., with approximately 12 million homes. Bright House, with about 2 million, is the sixth-biggest.

Cablevision and the NFL Network announced a deal in August, making Time Warner the last big missing piece.

The NFL Network began airing regular-season games in 2006; this year, the channel will have 13 games, primarily on Thursdays. The league initially feuded with several major cable companies over adding the channel but had gradually expanded its availability.

"We're delighted to have reached an agreement for NFL Network and NFL RedZone that provides a good value to our customers," Time Warner Cable executive vice president Melinda Witmer said in a release. "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."

The NFL Network will now be in more than 70 million of the country's approximately 115 million homes with tele-visions. In 2007, when the league bowed to pressure and simulcast a game between the New England Patriots and New York Giants on CBS and NBC with New England on the verge of going 16-0, the channel was in fewer than 40 percent of households with TVs.



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