Just what exactly is the NRTC? That stands for the National Rural Television Cooperative which provides cable, internet and telephone services to rural areas in the contiguous 48 states. It’s a group of some 1,500 utilities that is represented under one roof. So today, we find that the NRTC has made agreements with four sports networks for programming. We have the press release from the NRTC.
NRTC Announces New Distribution Agreements with Sports ProgrammersMore Popular Sports Programming Available to NRTC’s Telco MembersHERNDON, Va.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The National Rural Telecommunications Cooperative (NRTC) announced today that it had signed distribution agreements for a number of sports services, including NFL Network, NFL Network HD, NFL RedZone, MLB Network, MLB Network HD, Fox Soccer Plus, Big Ten Network and Big Ten Network HD.
“Knowing how important national and college sports are to our member’s consumers, NRTC has placed a priority on the completion of these agreements for the benefit of our members”“High quality sports programming is in high demand in our members’ markets,” said NRTC Interim President and CEO Jack Harvey. “I’m proud that NRTC can expand its sports programming portfolio to meet the needs of its members and their customers.”Available in both standard and high definition to NRTC members, NFL Network is the destination for all that happens around the sport of football, during the season and throughout the year. Every year, NFL Network airs nearly 2,000 hours of original programming including: NFL Total Access, NFL GameDay, NFL Replay, The Coaches Show, NFL’s Top 10, Sound FX, Playbook, NFL Classic Games and the Emmy® Award-winning America’s Game series, in addition to live NFL games in high-definition with Thursday Night Football. NFL RedZone, produced by NFL Network, whips around every NFL game on Sunday afternoons delivering the touchdowns and most exciting moments as they happen and in high definition. NFL RedZone keeps fans up-to-date in real time, switching from game to game with live look-ins, highlights and a chance to see the key plays.For Major League Baseball fans, NRTC has signed a distribution agreement with MLB Network, which includes standard- and high-definition programming rights. Launched on Jan. 1, 2009, MLB Network covers the national pastime all the time with more than 2,500 live hours of baseball programming throughout the year. In its inaugural year, MLB Network was honored with four Sports Emmy® Awards and 12 nominations by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, including three awards for its signature studio program MLB Tonight. With live games, original programming, highlights, classic games and coverage of baseball events year round, MLB Network is the ultimate destination for baseball fans.“Knowing how important national and college sports are to our member’s consumers, NRTC has placed a priority on the completion of these agreements for the benefit of our members,” said NRTC Vice President of Video Services Madeleine Forrer. “With the addition of these channels, telcos can offer highly marketable sports programming with relative ease.”Fox Soccer Plus is a premium network intended to complement Fox Soccer Channel by providing the best international sports experience. Fox Soccer Plus features live, exclusive soccer matches from England’s Barclays Premier League, the UEFA Champions League, England’s FA Cup, Italy’s Serie A, Coca-Cola Championship, Carling Cup and England Men’s National Team. Fox Soccer Plus also delivers premium rugby from the Magners League, SANZAR, Guinness Premiership and Heineken Cup among other competitions.“The demand for soccer programming continues to grow throughout the country, and we want to make sure that our telco members are able to provide it to their subscribers,” said Forrer. “We’re pleased to bring Fox Soccer Plus, as well as its sister network, Fox Soccer Channel, to our members in rural America.”The Big Ten Network provides more coverage of Big Ten Conference sports than any other network, showcasing approximately 350 live sporting events each year, including more than 35 regular season college football games, over 100 men’s basketball games, 55 women’s basketball contests and nightly studio shows with segments from each campus. The channel is available to NRTC members in both standard- and high-definition formats.“The Big Ten Network is a very exciting addition to our TelcoVideo programming offering,” Forrer added. “It’s complementary to our other sports programming, and it allows subscribers in our members’ service areas to keep up with all of the sports news and events happening at their favorite Big Ten schools.”NRTC’s TelcoVideo offering gives telcos access to hundreds of video and audio channels—including more than 90 high-definition (HD) channels. With the powerful programming available through TelcoVideo, telcos can customize programming packages to appeal to a wide range of customers—from residential subscribers to commercial accounts. Packages are also divided into white-labeled, highly marketable tiers, including the HD, Hispanic and Variety Tiers. Premium channel packages, including HBO, Cinemax, Starz, Encore, Showtime and The Movie Channel complete this robust offering.