NFL Net will allow preview on Cablevision


NEW YORK -- The NFL Network told Cablevision on Thursday that it would let the cable operator offer the network as a free weeklong preview under the same terms Time Warner Cable agreed to last week.

TWC's deal calls for the NFL Network to be placed, temporarily, on a digital tier that reaches 75% of its customers. The offer, made in a letter to Cablevision from NFL Network CEO Steve Bornstein, gave a deadline of today for a response by the Long Island-based cable operator so that the network can approve the necessary paperwork.

Cablevision could not immediately be reached for comment.

Thursday's offer follows a heated exchange between the two companies that played out Wednesday. The NFL Network declared that Cablevision had declined its free offer; Cablevision denied that it had declined it but instead accepted the carriage of the Texas Bowl game between Rutgers and Kansas State.

A little less than two weeks ago, NFL Network offered a free preview of the channel from Dec. 24-30 (including the Rutgers game) to TWC and Cablevision. Both cablers have declined to carry the NFL Network on their systems, even after this year's start of regular-season NFL games. TWC and the NFL Network agreed to terms this week but Cablevision had not.