Dish Joins Comcast In NFL RedZone

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Dish Network has become the second affiliate to sign up for NFL RedZone, the NFL Network's rookie scoring channel.
Like Comcast, which committed to service, the No. 2 satellite provider will kick off NFL RedZone with the start of the pro football league's regular season on Sept. 13. Dish will position it on channel 155, in both standard- definition and high-definition, as part of the Multi-Sport Package, which is available to most Dish Network customers at $5.99 per month.
Similarly, Comcast is making RedZone available as part of its Sports Entertainment Package.

Deal terms were not disclosed.

Both distributors, which had been engaged in legal battles with NFL Network, reached new agreements with the NFL's in-house service earlier this year.

In April, Dish and NFL Network reached an out-of-court settlement -- other terms of which were not disclosed -- under which Dish will continue to carry NFL Network on its Classic Silver 200 programming package over a multiyear term. Dish  pulled NFL Network from the "free preview" on its America's Top 100 package, moving it to its AT200 tier on Feb. 20, 2008, in response to the channel's decision to simulcast a Dec. 28, 2007 game on CBS and NBC that featured the then-undefeated New England Patrios against the New York Giants.

In May, Comcast announced that on Aug. 1 it would move NFL Network to Digital Classic, its second most widely penetrated package with 10.8 million subscribers, from its sports tier. During the conference call announcing the deal, Comcast CEO Brian Roberts said the nation's leading distributor would position NFL RedZone on its Sports Entertainment Package, with the launch officially announced Aug. 24.

NFL RedZone, produced by NFL Network and hosted by Scott Hanson from the network's new studio at its Los Angeles headquarters, will whip around every NFL game on Sunday afternoons delivering the touchdowns and most exciting moments as they develop. The channel aims to keep fans updated in real time, switching from game to game with live look-ins, highlights and a chance to see every important play.
"We are pleased to announce the first two deals for our new NFL RedZone channel that complements the live broadcasts of NFL games on CBS and Fox Sunday afternoons," said NFL Network COO Kim Williams in announcing the launches. "We are in discussions with other distributors and look forward to announcing more distribution deals for one of the most exciting new products now available to cable operators and telcos."
"NFL RedZone is the most exciting thing to happen to football since high definition," said Dish CMO Ira Bahr. "There's no better way to kick off the 2009 NFL football season than by changing the way America watches football, and Dish Network is pleased to offer consumers an opportunity to catch every touchdown and the biggest plays as they happen."
"Inside the 20, fans are focused, leaning forward on the edge of their seats. With NFL RedZone, our customers get that intense live action experience for all the NFL games on every Sunday afternoon," said Derek Harrar, general manager and senior vice president of Video Services for Comcast. "The addition of NFL RedZone represents yet another major enhancement to our overall sports offering for Comcast customers."