This came as a surprise today. Broken by the great Richard Sandomir of the New York Times on Twitter right at 11 a.m. Eastern time today, we learn that one of the last two holdouts on NFL Network has finally succumbed and made a deal to carry the channel and its NFL RedZone on Sundays during the regular season.
Between Cablevision and Time Warner Cable, both with huge subscriber bases in New York, I thought TWC would sign first, but instead, it’s the Dolan Family-owned Cablevision that blinked first.
NFL Network will begin airing on Cablevision systems in New York, New Jersey and the Philadelphia areas starting on Friday. And fans living in the affected areas will see the entire 13 game Thursday Night Football schedule.
We have the joint announcement from Cablevision and the National Football League.
BETHPAGE, NY and NEW YORK, NY – August 16, 2012 – NFL Network and Cablevision (NYSE: CVC), the largest TV provider in the nation’s top media market, announced today that they have reached a multi-year agreement for carriage of NFL Network and the NFL RedZone channel.
NFL Network will make its debut in Cablevision homes beginning tomorrow. NFL Network will be available on channel 150 in both standard-definition and HD for customers who subscribe to iO Preferred, iO Silver, iO Gold or the iO Sports & Entertainment Pak. NFL RedZone, which airs on Sundays throughout the regular season, will be offered in both standard-definition and HD on channel 151 as part of the iO Sports & Entertainment Pak, which is now included in the new iO Gold package, which was launched last spring.
“We know there is significant interest in the NFL Network and NFL RedZone among our Optimum TV customers, and are pleased to have worked productively with the NFL to offer both channels in time for the upcoming season, and for years to come,” said Mac Budill, Cablevision’s executive vice president of programming.
“Cablevision is one of the top television providers in the country and will offer New York fans football 24 hours a day, 365 days a year,” said NFL Media COO Brian Rolapp. “With the 2012 NFL season approaching, Cablevision subscribers will be able to enjoy our expanded 13-game Thursday Night Football schedule, Sunday NFL GameDay shows, NFL Total Access, Emmy award-winning NFL Films programming and much more. In addition, NFL RedZone features every touchdown from every game on Sunday afternoons.”
The Emmy Award-winning America’s Game: The Super Bowl Champions series debuts this season’s episode on the 2011 New York Giants exclusively on NFL Network on Tuesday, September 4 at 10:00 PM ET, one night before the Giants kick off the 2012 regular season against the Dallas Cowboys.
Now the question is, will Time Warner Cable decide to join ranks among the 8 other major cable and satellite providers.