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TWC Carries NFL Network a Day Early


After years of waiting to see it, Time Warner Cable homes in Western New York are getting The NFL Network a day early.

The NFL Network is being carried on on Time Warner Cable this morning.

The NFL Network and Time Warner Cable announced late Friday afternoon in a carefully-worded release that The NFL Network and NFL Red Zone would debut in TWC homes beginning this Sunday on TWC beginning with its pre-game and post-game shows and that the “full launch” will take place before Thursday’s game between the Cleveland Browns (who play the Bills Sunday) and Baltimore Ravens (who used to play in Cleveland).

The use of the words “full launch” in the announcement of the multi-year national deal suggested that some TWC cable systems might not be ready to carry it this Sunday. But a TWC spokesperson told me Friday night that Buffalo’s system will be ready to carry The NFLN this Sunday.

And then I turned on my TV this morning to discover that The NFLN is on right now.

According to the release, The NFL Network is available to TWC subscribers on the digital basic package and Sports Pass tier. According to TWC, about 72 percent of its local subscribers get the digital basic package. Subscribers don’t need digital basic to get Sports Pass but they will need a digital box. The NFL Red Zone channel only will be available to those who get Sports Pass, which costs an extra $5.99 a month.

The NFL Network, which has been carried on satellite TV locally, is now carried by TWC on channel 187 in standard definition in Buffalo and on channel 1086 in high definition. The Red Zone is carried on channel 191 in standard definition and on channel 1087 in high definition in Buffalo. The channels will air in different locations in standard definition in Olean.   

The Buffalo Bills game-Miami game on The NFL Network on Nov. 15 now will be available locally on both independent station WBBZ and The NFL Network if it is sold out in time. The NFL has always sold the rights to its NFL Network and ESPN games to broadcast stations in their local markets so people who don’t get cable also can see them.

This really is this is the return of The NFL Network locally. When Adelphia was the leading cable provider here, it carried the NFL Network. TWC took it off after it became the local cable provider.

What is notably missing from this evening’s release is how much TWC is paying per subscriber to carry The NFL Network and whether that will eventually mean bigger cable bills.

I think that is easier to predict than the Bills-Browns game.

SNL Kagan, a specialist in the media and communication business, estimates that The NFL Network charges 95 cents monthly per subscriber. 

In Buffalo, that would likely mean TWC would only pay for the digital subscribers it has for The NFL Network and for the Sports Pass subscribers (which will be considerably fewer) for the Red Zone Channel.  


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5 responses to "TWC Carries NFL Network a Day Early"

  1. Between the blackout threat (last week there were still about 9000 seats left) and now this, you can’t help thinking Phil Arno is very upset about the turns of events for his major investment.

  2. GMan says:

    It’s Saturday morn, and the NFL network is already on!

  3. Pm says:

    With twc using channels 1085 & 1086, will they be renumbering the channels soon. There is no consistency with the groupings. I assume this is because of channel additions since the original hd lineup.

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