Time Warner Cable Near Deal to Carry NFL Network -Source
09/21/2012| 02:16pm US/Eastern
By William Launder
Time Warner Cable Inc. (>> Time Warner Cable Inc) is close to reaching a long-awaited deal to carry NFL Network and NFL RedZone, potentially in time for Sunday's kick-off, according to a person familiar with the matter.
The deal would add some of television's most sought-after programming to Time Warner Cable's lineup and solidify NFL Network's position as a must-have channel for distributors.
Time Warner Cable plans to make the NFL Network available on its digital subscription packages, while NFL RedZone will be included on the cable company's sports tier, according to the person familiar with the matter.
Additionally, Time Warner Cable's Brighthouse Networks will carry the channels. A deal could be announced as early as Friday afternoon, the person said.
The NFL Network carries football games and programming throughout the year, while the NFL RedZone airs only on Sundays during the football season. The NFL RedZone switches to different NFL games, presenting highlights as well as live coverage.
Time Warner Cable has previously discussed a deal to carry the NFL Network on several occasions, but the talks have always faltered over price negotiations. Last month, Cablevision Systems Corp. (>> Cablevision Systems Corporation) announced a deal to carry NFL Network and RedZone for its subscribers.
In recent years, The NFL Network has dialed up the pressure on cable operators to carry its content by broadcasting several games live. This year, the NFL Network expanded its regular-season schedule and will broadcast 13 games.
Cable companies and TV networks rarely provide details on how much they pay and charge in programming fees, but premium sports content like the NFL Network and Walt Disney Co.'s (>> The Walt Disney Company) giant ESPN are largely considered some of the most expensive channels in the industry.
Advertisers covet sports because the content is typically viewed live and appeals to male audiences that they target as heavy consumer spenders.
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