Bright House Networks cable subscribers who love the NFL, your long wait is over. The NFL Network will begin appearing on the company's channel lineup, possibly Sunday and by no later than Thursday.
The NFL and Time Warner, which handles network negotiations for Bright House, reached a deal Friday after what was essentially a nine-year standoff since the NFL Network launched in 2003.
The network will appear on digital channel 183 and in HD on 1145, and subscribers won't be charged an additional fee for it, Bright House spokesman Joe Durkin said.
The NFL Network is a 24-hour station run by and dedicated to the NFL. Though it shows replays of games, highlights, analysis and pre- and postgame shows, the biggest thing fans care about are games. The network is carrying an expanded set of games this season, 13 in prime time on Thursday nights. Arena League games, college bowl games and the NFL draft combine also are televised by the NFL Network.
All Bright House subscribers should have the network in time for its next live game, Thursday night between the Ravens and Browns.
Meantime, the deal also means Bright House subscribers will have access to the Red Zone channel, which airs live cut-ins on Sundays when teams are close to scoring. However, to receive the Red Zone channel, viewers must subscribe to Bright House's "Sports Pack,'' which includes other sports networks (including the NHL Network, several Big Ten Networks and the Tennis Channel) and costs $8 a month. The Red Zone will appear on channel 826 and in HD on 1146.
"We thank our customers for their patience while a fair deal was reached for all involved," Bright House CEO Steve Miron said. "It is especially rewarding to say yes to our customers who have requested NFL Network's award-winning coverage."
Bright House is the second-largest cable company in Florida and serves approximately 2.5 million nationwide. Time Warner is the nation's second-biggest cable company and has approximately 12.3 million subscribers.
Friday's announcement means the NFL has deals with each of the nation's top six cable providers for its network.