SBD/Issue 235/Sports Media

Deal Reached For Dish Network To Offer RedZone Channel

Dish Network has signed a deal with NFL Network to carry the NFL RedZone channel this season. The deal marks the second major distributor to carry the station; Comcast previously committed to the channel. NFL RedZone will be available in both HD and standard definition and will be part of Dish Network’s Multi-Sport Package, which is available to Dish customers at $5.99 per month (NFL/Dish Network). The HOLLYWOOD REPORTER's Anthony Crupi notes at issue for other MSOs considering carrying the RedZone channel is the NFL's "carriage fee for the service," which sources said is $0.20-0.25 per subscriber per month (HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, 8/25).

Bornstein Says NFL Network Is 
In Discussions With Many Carriers
IN TALKS WITH OTHER CARRIERS: NFL Network President & CEO Steve Bornstein said the net is in "discussions with many carriers about our various assets." Bornstein: "There are discussions with providers we already have affiliate agreements with for RedZone and with those that we are not affiliated with." MULTICHANNEL NEWS' Mike Reynolds notes the availability of RedZone and the net's May deal with Comcast were "expected to serve as a fulcrum for NFL Network to reopen negotiations with a number of recalcitrant carriers that had kept the league's in-house channel on the sidelines over price and positioning issues." NFL Network also had hoped the Comcast deal "would serve as a template for other deals with distribution holdouts." However, outside the Dish deal, the NFL Network has "not yet scored any new deals, even though its affiliate team is going through two-a-days of sorts." Time Warner Cable and Suddenlink Communications confirmed that they are "in distribution discussions with NFL Network," but officials at the MSOs "would not characterize the status of the negotiations or offer a progress report," and Cablevision declined comment. Reynolds notes though talks have "stalled over the past few seasons, Bornstein, who notes that NFL Network has concluded hundreds of deals with distributors, is sanguine that more carriage paydirt lies ahead with those that have been on the sidelines" (MULTICHANNEL NEWS, 8/24 issue).

THAT'S THE TICKET: Colts QB Peyton Manning made the media rounds yesterday to advertise DirecTV's new service that provides Sunday Ticket subscribers with access to games on laptops and mobile devices. Manning said, "It shows the commitment that DirecTV has to taking care of the fans." He added he would use the new features "on my cell phone a lot" to watch Giants games, or to "watch some other teams in our division play" ("Power Lunch," CNBC, 8/24). He added fans this season can watch all games on Sunday Ticket "in high-definition, which is new" ("NFL Total Access," NFL Net, 8/24). 

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