Archive for Thursday, December 14, 2006

Cable outlet near agreement with NFL Network over bowl game

December 14, 2006


— Time Warner Cable moved closer Wednesday to reaching a truce with the NFL Network over carrying the Texas Bowl game between Rutgers and Kansas State on Dec. 28. Another New York area cable operator, Cablevision, said Tuesday it would carry the Rutgers game after the NFL Network offered both cable companies free carriage for the week of Dec. 24-30.

Neither Time Warner nor Cablevision have agreements to carry the network full-time, meaning many Rutgers fans wouldn't be able to watch the matchup at Reliant Stadium in Houston.

The NFL Network is available in roughly 40 million of the nation's 111 million homes with televisions in the country, mainly through satellite providers. Time Warner says the network is asking for too much money to carry the network. Time Warner would like to offer the channel on a digital tier, but the NFL Network has declined. Cablevision has also declined the NFL Network's long-term carriage terms so far.

Amid the impasse, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell told the AP on Tuesday the league would offer the network for free to Time Warner and Cablevision from Dec. 24 to 30, which would include the Rutgers game and the Insight Bowl between Minnesota and Texas Tech on Dec. 29. It applies only to systems in the New York area.

In a letter to NFL Network president Steve Bornstein, Time Warner Cable's CEO Glenn Britt offered two possibilities: making just the Rutgers game available to all customers on Time Warner's basic tier, or carrying the network all week on a digital tier.


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