Monday, July 31, 2006

Poking the Bear...

Wow...here is a story that could become extremely ugly in the coming weeks. Multichannel New.com published the following article today, "Time Warner, NFL Network Butt Heads." Time Warner is about to open up a hornet's nest. The story reported:

"The operator may punt the network away from systems owned by Adelphia Communications that it is acquiring, including those in such National Football League markets as Buffalo, N.Y.; Cleveland; and Dallas...Time Warner is considering dropping NFL Network from systems in Buffalo, Cleveland, Los Angeles, the Carolinas and Maine that are currently carrying the service as early as Aug. 1, following the expected July 31 closing of Time Warner Inc.’s and Comcast’s purchase of Adelphia, according to sources at both parties."

It was bad enough for Yankee fans when Steinbrenner created the Yes Network and Cablevision (I believe) stated it would not pay for the station so three million fans couldn't watch the Yankee games. Wait, that may have been a good thing...

At this time, football is the number one sport in the country and is the number one sport in Buffalo, Cleveland and Dallas. Los Angeles, may not have a team, but it is the second biggest market in the country. How are sponsors going to feel if they can't promote products to LA viewers?

Thankfully, the NFL knows how to handle these types of issues including:

"In response, the (NFL) network -- which added an eight-game, late-season primetime package -- is preparing a multimillion-dollar ad campaign to run throughout the pro football season if necessary against Time Warner, Cablevision Systems, Bright House Networks and other cable operators that are not carrying the 41 million-subscriber channel.

Meanwhile, NFL Network will run TV, radio and print ads -- as early as this coming week -- identifying operators that are currently not carrying the service. The network was expected to run ads this past Sunday in newspapers reaching NFL markets, including Green Bay, Wis. (Time Warner), and Tampa, Fla. (Bright House).

NFL Network spokesman Seth Palansky said the service is prepared to execute a multimedia marketing blitz for several months, if necessary, adding, 'We’re prepared to go as long as it takes, but we hope it’s only a one-week period.'"

Wow --if I were one of these cable operators, I would sit down and hammer our an agreement with the NFL. I don't think a cable operator really wants to go toe-to-toe with the NFL.

6 Comments:

At 9:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yep, Time Warner needs to get it done SOON. I'm in Buffalo and I started pricing Dish Network packages in July after I heard this news. You'd think that after Adelphia's blunders, Time Warner might want to build some good will to keep their customers.

 
At 12:14 AM, Anonymous Charles said...

The worrying thing is that Time Warner looks ready to dig its heels in even more - I called them today, and they told me to go to www.nflgetreal.com to voice my opinions. I went there, and it's nothing but a site to send the NFL Network pro-Time Warner messages.

Got me rather upset, to the point that I just started up www.timewarnergetreal.com out of frustration. :|

 
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