NFL Network Offers Cablers Free Preview


In the latest chess move in the ongoing standoff between the National Football League and cable companies, the NFL Network is offering a free preview to Time Warner and Cablevision in the New York and New Jersey area in late December.

The free preview features the cable network’s exclusive coverage of a post-season college football game featuring New Jersey’s Rutgers University.  No live NFL telecasts are included in the proposed free preview.

The network is offering the two cablers a free license to carry both the standard and high definition feeds of the network between 6 am on December 24 and 8 pm on December 30.

Cablevision has decided to take the feed of the game and shoulder programming, but nothing else during the offered period.

"We continue to believe the best option to make this game of local interest available across our entire market would be for the NFL Network to release it to a broadcast media outlet, so viewership would not be confined to cable and satellite homes," said Tom Rutledge, Cablevision's chief operating officer in a statement. 

A Time Warner spokesperson said no plans were finalized as of press time. “We just received the offer and we are looking into it,” the spokesperson said Tuesday. 

Rutgers plays Kansas State University in the Texas Bowl post-season game on December 28.  While local fans of teams playing in an NFL Network-televised games can see the game on an over-the-air station, that is not the case for NCAA football.