NFL Net Punts on TWC Preview Offer


The NFL Network has punted on Time Warner Cable’s most recent proposal of how it would offer all or part of the NFL Network’s proposed free preview in late December. 

The preview would allow New York and New Jersey subscribers to see a Rutgers University post-season college football game that the NFL has the exclusive rights to show.

After the NFL Network offered to provide a free preview of its network between December 24-30, TWC had said Wednesday it would either make only the December 28 Rutgers game available to all its customers, or make the entire week long preview available to digital customers only.

But in a letter dated Thursday to Time Warner Cable (TWC) chairman and CEO Glenn Britt, NFL Network (NFLN) chief Steve Bornstein said neither of the two options TWC proposed “satisfy both our goals for the freeview.”

The NFL wants to use the preview to not only make the Rutgers game available, but to leverage the opportunity to expose its other programming to Time Warner customers in hopes viewers will press the company to cut a deal to carry the network.

NFLN and TWC are still in a standoff over carriage after the network began carrying live NFL games this season.  The free preview does not include any of NFLN’s eight games.

In the letter, Bornstein writes, “We believe that it should be possible for TWC to free up an expanded basic channel for the entire period of our proposed freeview.”  He says he has directed his staff to identify some alternatives and expected to have something by midday Friday.

Bornstein also writes that if the sides can come to an agreement on carriage for the preview, he would agree to a TWC proposal that the sides call a “truce” in attacking each other in the media during the holiday season.