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Cable Technology Feature Article

September 28, 2012

Time Warner Enters into Agreement with the National Football League

By Miguel Leiva-Gomez, TMCnet Contributor

Time Warner (News - Alert) Cable, Inc., the second most popular provider of cable services to the United States, said it entered an agreement with the National Football League to include some NFL Network broadcasts and footage from the RedZone channel.

Time Warner Cable was one of the cable providers that spent the longest time without including the NFL Network since it came about in 2003. The NFL Network, a property of the football league, broadcasts its games. RedZone, on the other hand, broadcasts key moments within games that play on Sunday. The channel will run on Sundays, but Time Warner broadcasted a game on Thursday with the Baltimore Ravens and Cleveland Browns.

The NFL Network's broadcasts will enter Time Warner Cable's digital programming package, which currently has more than 150 channels with high-definition content. RedZone will become part of Time Warner's "game pass" package, which already covers tennis and other sports.

Melinda Witmer, the content officer at Time Warner Cable, said that Time Warner's agreement "provides a good value" to its customers since the network will be adding more games to its coverage. The NFL Network will air 13 primetime season games by the end of 2012, a number that nearly doubles what it aired in 2011.

Steve Miron, CEO of Bright House - a company whose network is involved in the Time Warner agreement - personally thanked his customers for the patience they had while waiting for a deal that would benefit all the parties involved. The announcement for the agreement was accompanied by Time Warner Cable's intentions to spin the wheels on its first regional sports coverage in Los Angeles. The company outbid Fox Sports for the rights to broadcast the LA Lakers' basketball games with a $2 billion investment.

Unfortunately, providers of television service like DirecTV (News - Alert) didn't find the programming fees from Time Warner Cable very enticing. The cable broadcaster hasn't yet reached any agreements with television service providers. If Time Warner doesn't manage to come up with something, Los Angeles residents will be locked out of watching their own team play.

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Edited by Rachel Ramsey

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