Feb 25, 2012; Indianapolis, IN, USA; NFL Network announcer Rich Eisne broadcasting during the NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE
UPDATE I: The NFL has announced that they've reached a multyear deal with Time Warner. According to the NFL press release, the NFL Network and NFL RedZone channels will debut this Sunday, September 23 on Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks with full launch before Thursday, September 27.
“We’re delighted to have reached an agreement for NFL Network and NFL RedZone that provides a good value to our customers,” said Melinda Witmer, Executive Vice President and Chief Video and Content Officer for Time Warner Cable. “The additional games this year and the proven appeal of NFL RedZone will certainly prove to be a draw for our customers. We look forward to a long and productive relationship with the NFL.”
“We thank our customers for their patience while a fair deal was reached for all involved,” said Steve Miron, CEO, Bright House Networks. “It is especially rewarding to say yes to our customers who have requested NFL Network’s award-winning coverage.”
“We are excited to work with Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks to bring fans football 24 hours a day, 365 days a year,” said NFL Network President and CEO Steve Bornstein. “Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks subscribers will be able to enjoy our weekly Thursday Night Football schedule, our award-winning Sunday NFL GameDay shows, NFL Total Access, NFL Films programming and much more. In addition, the NFL RedZone channel is a truly exciting way to enhance your Sunday football viewing experience each and every week.”
ORIGINAL REPORT: According to a Bloomberg report the NFL has finally reached an agreement with Time Warner to carry the NFL Network and RedZone channel. From the report written by Scott Soshnick, the agreement is a multiyear deal that may be announced at some point Friday. And according to John Ourand with the Sports Business Journal, the NFL Network will be on the basic digital tier with the RedZone channel on the sports tier.
There have been reports of optimism regarding negotiations in the past. In September last year a report surfaced that "substantial progress" was made between the organizations, with the highlights being that Time Warner was conceding the NFL Network on the basic ditigal tier. Yet negotiations broke down soon after, according to an Ourand report in mid-October that wrote in part that the "companies' execs held a contentious meeting" where "senior execs from both sides were unable to bridge several differences. The two sides left the meeting with no plans to meet again".
Despite that, there haven't been reports of a deal reached between both sides in the past. Currently neither the NFL nor Time Warner are confirming the deal, electing to "no comment" the story until the multiyear deal is signed and announced.