AT&T U-verse and RCN both will kick off the rookie NFL RedZone channel this Sunday.
The telco will position NFL Network's scoring channel, which provides highlights and live look-ins as teams cross the 20-yard-line, the so-called "red zone," for all of the pro football league's Sunday afternoon contests, on channel 1629 as part of its U-Verse HD Premium Tier, beginning Sept. 13.
The same day, RCN, which also reached a multiyear deal to continue carrying NFL Network, will begin offering the service on a full-season subscription basis for $49.99.
RCN subscribers in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, New York City, Boston and Chicago can watch the NFL RedZone in HD on channel 684 and in standard definition on channel 360. NFL RedZone will air on channel 200 (HD) and channel 148 (standard) in Lehigh Valley, Penn.
U-verse's HD Premium Tier package, which currently proffers MGM HD, Palladia, Smithsonian Channel HD, Shorts HD and Universal HD, is available to U-verse HD subscribers -- who pay $10 for a broader roster of enhanced networks -- for an additional $5 per month.
U-verse, which initially plans to use direct marketing tactics to its customer base to tout the new service, joins Blue Ridge Communications as a distributor that is positioning NFL RedZone as a potential driver for its premier HD package. By way of contrast, Comcast and Dish Network are making the service available as part of their sports tiers. For their part, both RCN and Verizon FiOS are offering it as a full-season, 17-week subscription play for $49.95.
"AT&T U-verse just got better, again. NFL RedZone is a new and exciting way to stay on top of Sunday football, and we're proud to kick off the NFL football season by adding this channel to our lineup," said Dan York, executive vice president of content and programming, AT&T Converged Services, in a statement. "U-verse TV football fans will truly enjoy tuning to NFL RedZone to watch the touchdowns and the biggest plays as they happen on their big screen TV."
Noted NFL Network COO Kim Williams: "We're excited to offer NFL RedZone to AT&T U-verse football fans so they can see the important plays from NFL games. U-verse TV customers across the country are going to enjoy this special channel produced by NFL Network."
Discussing the RCN deal, NFL Network president and CEO Steve Bornstein said: "We are thrilled that RCN will carry our new NFL RedZone channel in New York and other cities."
"We are pleased to renew our long-term partnership with the NFL Network," said RCN president and CEO Peter Aquino. "Our agreement allows us to offer our customers the best in football every Sunday. And, with the addition of the RedZone to our sports programming, our subscribers won't miss a minute of the most exciting, live football action."