SBD/August 2, 2011/Media

Charter Communications Inks Deal To Carry NFL Network, RedZone Channel

Charter Communications has signed a deal to carry NFL Network and the league’s RedZone Channel. The move marks a big deal for NFL Network, which has grown to about 57 million homes at a reported cost of $0.81 a subscriber a month, according to SNL Financial. But the network was stymied for over a year after its deal with Comcast, as it had not cut deals with three of the country’s five biggest cable operators -- Time Warner Cable, Charter and Cablevision. The Charter deal, implemented in time for the start of the '11 season, will break that logjam. NFL Network will be available to Charter customers on the Digital View Plus tier and in HD to customers with high-definition service and HDTVs. NFL RedZone will be available on Charter's sports tiers. Charter Communications serves nearly 5 million homes (John Ourand, THE DAILY). MULTICHANNEL NEWS' Mike Reynolds reported terms of the deal, which also "encompass video-on-demand fare and future authenticated content rights, were not disclosed." NFL Net VP/Affiliate Distribution John Malkin said that the agreement boosts the net's subscriber count "to 60 million from 57 million." Asked about the distribution prospects with TWC, Cablevision and Bright House, Malkin said, "We've done deals with NCTC, Cox and now with Charter. We're always looking at ways to gain more distribution for NFL Network and NFL RedZone." Meanwhile, Charter Senior VP/Programming Allan Singer said that the St. Louis-based company also has "expanded an extant relationship with the hometown Rams." Singer: "We're going to be doing a number of things with the team, there will be lots of activities" (MULTICHANNEL.com, 8/1). CABLEFAX DAILY notes NFL Net returns to Charter "following a nearly 6-year hiatus that started in Dec. '05 when the net pulled its signal over a dispute centered on sports tier carriage." Charter "represented the channel's 1st MSO affil before the spat" (CABLEFAX DAILY, 8/2).
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