SBD/October 14, 2011/Media

NFL, Time Warner Cable End Negotiations Without Deal For NFL Net, RedZone

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The NFL and Time Warner Cable ended their negotiations last week without an NFL Network or NFL RedZone deal, and several sources familiar with the negotiations say it is unlikely the two will reach an agreement this year. The companies' execs held contentious meeting in TWC’s N.Y. offices last Friday, where senior execs from both sides were unable to bridge several differences. The two sides left the meeting with no plans to meet again. NFL Network's first live game this season is Nov. 10, when the Raiders play the Chargers. Several sources said TWC and NFL Network had made considerable progress this year to resolve differences that started soon after the channel launched in ‘03. Ironically, the two found agreement on most of the big issues that had been separating them, according to sources close to the negotiations. The two sides essentially were close on price. It is not known what rate TWC had negotiated, but SNL Kagan puts NFL Network's price at $0.81 per subscriber per month. NFL RedZone is being sold to sports tiers for about $0.25-0.30 per subscriber per month, sources say. Sources also say that the NFL agreed to most of the "TV Everywhere" provisions that TWC was requesting. It is not known what issues the two sides were unable to resolve. There was optimism this summer that the two would cut a deal after the league broke a years-long logjam to sign deals with cable operators Charter and Mediacom -- deals that gave NFL Network seven of the top eight distributors. TWC subscribers still will see all local NFL games -- all NFL Network games are available in via broadcast in the teams' home markets. Plus, TWC subscribers have access to games on the broadcast networks and ESPN. A deal with NFL Network's other big holdout, Cablevision, also is not likely. The two sides have had no talks recently.
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