RedZone Scores Distributors

NEW YORK — NFL Network’s
RedZone scoring-and-highlights
channel kicked off its
sophomore season on Sept. 12
with some 80 affiliates.

With recent additions by
Cox Communications, Insight
Communications, and Suddenlink
among others, NFL RedZone
has more than quadrupled
its distribution roster since
its rookie campaign in 2009,
according to a spokesman for
the pro football league’s inhouse

Those MSOs and the majority
of its distributors — a group
that includes Comcast, Dish
Network and Verizon Communications
— will be offering
NFL RedZone as part of a “freeview”
on Sept. 19, Week 2 of
the NFL’s 2010-11 season.

Distributors have deployed
NFL RedZone to drive different
businesses. Some have included
it as part of their sports
tiers, while other have featured
it in premium high-definition
packages. Others are offering it
as a subscription-only product.

NFL RedZone’s roster figured
to expand further before the
opening-week kickoff , as distribution
executives continued to
negotiate with carriers for the
ad hoc channel, which whips
around every pro football
game on Sunday afternoon
providing viewers with a look
at all the touchdowns. Scott
Hanson hosts the service from
NFL Network’s state-of-the art
Los Angeles studios.

In order to receive NFL Red-
Zone, distributors must carry
NFL Network, the 24-hour
service that presents eight
primetime games live during
the second half of the season.
NFL Network recently reached
a master agreement with the
National Cable Television Cooperative
for both services,
which prompted holdouts Suddenlink
to join the distribution

Time Warner Cable, Charter
and Cablevision remain on the
sidelines over pricing and positioning

Time Warner Cable and
Bright House Networks, for
whom the nation’s No. 2
cable operator negotiates
programming deals, on Sept.
4 launched ESPN Goal Line as
part of the MSO’s comprehensive
carriage renewal pact with
The Walt Disney Co. ESPN Goal
Line is a college football variant
to NFL RedZone and Red
Zone, the predecessor product
that is part of DirecTV’s “NFL
Sunday Ticket” out-of-market
game package. A DirecTV ad
for Sunday Ticket takes a shot
at NFL Network’s product.