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NFL signs on With OEN

NFL Network has signed a carriage agreement with fledgling IPTV provider Optical Entertainment Network (OEN), following up on recent carriage deals with telco TV efforts from Verizon and AT&T.

OEN, which is currently testing its "FISION" fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) service in about 200 homes in northwest Houston and plans to launch commercially within 90 days, will carry the NFL's 24-hour, year-round network, including its primetime regular season games this fall, as part of its 400-channel programming line-up. As part of the carriage agreement, OEN will receive significant advertising inventory during each NFL Net game telecast.

"We look forward to working with OEN to bring NFL Network to Houston," said Brian Decker, NFL Network's vice president, national accounts, in a statement. "OEN recognizes the value proposition NFL Network offers and the opportunities an association with the NFL presents."

The OEN announcement comes in the midst of a nasty fight over carriage between NFL Network and Time Warner Cable, which last week attempted to pull NFL Network from some systems it had recently acquired as part of the Adelphia breakup but was forced to restore the service by the FCC.