NFL Network's scoring/highlights channel was poised to kick off its sophomore season on Sept. 12 with some 80 affiliates.
With recent additions by Cox, Insight and Suddenlink among others, NFL RedZone has more than quadrupled its distribution roster since its rookie campaign in 2009, according to a spokesman at the pro football league's in-house service.
Distributors have deployed NFL RedZone to drive different businesses. Some have packaged it as part of their sports tiers, while other have included it in premium high-definition tiers. Others are offering it as a subscription-only product.
The roster for NFL RedZone, which recently added BendBroadband, Antietam, Advanced Cable, ATMC, Bristol Virginia Utilities, Frankfort Plant Board, figured to expand further before the opening week kickoff, as distribution executives continued to negotiate during the weekend.
The ad hoc channel whips around every pro football game on Sunday afternoons, providing viewers with a look at all the touchdowns. When a team goes inside the 20-yard-line, the so-called red zone, fans see the crucial plays live. The channel keeps fans up-to-date in real-time switching from game to game with live look-ins, highlights, fantasy statistics and a chance to see every important play. Scott Hanson hosts the service from NFL Network's state-of-the art Los Angeles studios.
In order to receive NFL RedZone, distributors also must carry NFL Network, the 24-hour service that presents eight primetime games live during the second half of the season. NFL Network recently reached a master agreement with the National Cable Television Cooperative for both services, which prompted holdout Suddenlink to join the distribution huddle.
Time Warner Cable, Charter and Cablevision remain on the sidelines over pricing and positioning issues.
Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks, for whom the nation's No. 2 cable operator negotiates programming deals, on Sept. 4 launched ESPN Goal Line as part of the MSO's comprehensive carriage renewal pact with The Walt Disney Co. ESPN Goal Line is a college football variant to NFL RedZone and Red Zone, the predecessor product that is part of DirecTV's Sunday Ticket out-of-market game package.
This season, fans outside their homes that subscribe to Verizon Wireless can now receive NFL RedZone on their cell phones.
Moreover, the product will be on display at NFL stadiums this season in club seating areas, as well as on the large video screens in the venues.