NFL Net Rejects Time Warner’s Texas Bowl Proposal

Dec 15, 2006  •  Post A Comment

The NFL Network late Thursday rejected proposals from Time Warner Cable to enable subscribers in the New York metropolitan area to see Rutgers University play Kansas State in the Texas Bowl on Dec. 28.

TWC is among the cable operators that have not signed a carriage agreement with the NFL Network, which this fall is televising live regular-season NFL games for the first time. The squabble has turned ugly, with nasty ads and lawsuits being fielded.

The NFL Network offered TWC a free license to show its programming for a week on an expanded basic channel. TWC responded by saying it could run the game on expanded basic or put the full week’s programming on a digital basic tier reaching about 75 percent of subscribers.

NFL Network CEO Steve Bornstein, in a letter to TWC released by the cable operator Friday, said “neither of the options you specified in your letter satisfies both of our goals for the freeview.” He said he wanted his staff to work with the cable operator to find available space on a basic channel or to ensure no customer would have to buy equipment or pay for an upgrade to see the game on digital.

A TWC spokesman called Mr. Bornstein’s response self-serving. “Their overriding goal is apparent,” he said. “It is not to ensure Rutgers’ fans see their team, but rather to ensure their network is sampled by the largest number of customers in the hopes they might gain some leverage in the longer-term negotiations that have been going on for months.” 

(Editor: Butler)