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Will Time Warner Cable Carry the NFL Network?
(July 30, 2012)
Time Warner Cable has been
unable to land a carriage agreement with the NFL Network for
eight straight seasons since the football channel launched in
2003. And now it appears that former Insight Cable subscribers
will lose the channel tomorrow as well because their cable
system is now owned by Time Warner Cable.
According to Multichannel News, Insight has carried the NFL Network since 2005, but the carriage agreement is due to expire on July 31. The channel, which is owned by the NFL, would in the past negotiate a new deal with Insight. But Time Warner Cable has purchased all of Insight's systems and Time Warner Cable and the NFL Network are still at odds.
The NFL says it's now not even in negotiations with Time Warner Cable.
"We are not asking for new terms (for the old Insight systems)," an NFL spokesman said, according to Multichannel. "We would extend the agreement as is for the next five years, the same terms that Insight has been happy with for years and would insure that Insight customers would have the NFL Network and NFL RedZone for years to come."
Time Warner Cable counters that there have been negotiations with the NFL.
"We have had discussions. (But) there is no agreement yet," said a Time Warner Cable spokeswoman, according to Multichannel News. But the spokeswoman said the "Insight" price is too high.
Time Warner Cable will be under greater pressure this season to sign a carriage agreement for all their systems.. In past seasons, the NFL Network has carried eight live regular season games as well as studio shows and other news and information programs. But the channel this season will carry 13 live games during the 2012 season.
In fee fights such as this, it's often the darkest before the dawn. The fact that Time Warner Cable and the NFL are not actively negotiating is not necessarily bad news for Time Warner Cable football fans. With the NFL season still more than a month away, there's plenty of time for the two sides to reach a deal. And it's likely that negotiations will resume and heat up in the next four weeks. Time Warner Cable has to not only satisfy fans in their old markets, but it now has to appease fans in the new Insight markets.
Will get a deal get done? Despite more than eight years of butting heads, I think the time is now right. Yes, I am predicting a deal will be done in the next 4-6 weeks.
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