Time Warner Cable Punts NFL Network from Former Insight Systems8/01/2012 6:01 PM Eastern
With the contract expiring at midnight on the former Insight Communications systems serving Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio, NFL Network went dark for Time Warner Cable subscribers in those areas.
The MSO, which purchased the Insight systems for $3 billion in February, does not have a carriage deal with the National Football League for its in-house network and ad-hoc scoring channel, NFL RedZone.
The August 1 drop came despite some last-minute negotiations between the parties.
"We asked for a short extension so we could try to finalize an agreement, but they refused," said a spokeswoman for the nation's No. 2 MSO. "Conversations are ongoing and we remain hopeful that we can reach a resolution. But we have been close before only to have it fall apart so we need to be cautious about predicting success."
The pro football league said it had made new negotiating overtures, offering to freeze the price on its two properties.
"Last night, as Insight's longtime NFL Network and NFL RedZone subscribers faced the prospect of Time Warner Cable dropping the channels, we offered to renew the same terms with Time Warner Cable at a 0% rate increase for a package that this season will include 63% more live Thursday Night Football games and 80% more live weekday programming. Time Warner Cable refused and will now offer those customers 100% less NFL Network and NFL RedZone. Of the country's eight largest TV providers, Time Warner Cable remains the only one which denies its customers NFL Network."
This marks the second time a Time Warner Cable acquisition has intercepted NFL Network's subscriber roster. TWC in September 2006 dropped the network from systems serving 1 million customers it acquired from Adelphia Communications and swapped with Comcast as part of the two largest MSOs' purchase of the bankrupt operator.
NFL Network begins its expansive preseason game coverage with the NFL Hall of Fame Game between the Arizona Cardinals and New Orleans Saints on Aug. 5. During the 13th week of the season, NFL Network will televise the Cincinnati Bengals-Philadelphia Eagles matchup within Insight's home market territories of Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana. By rule, the NFL also makes home market games available over a local broadcast market in the home team's DMA.