If you watch TV, and especially if you are a loyal spectator of the NFL Channel, you might have heard about all the controversy surrounding it recently. For those viewers and any others who are interested in learning more about exactly what is going on, the following information should clear it up for everyone.
What is the NFL Channel
Firstly, the NFL Channel has been around since 2003 when all 32 professional league coaches voted on its approval to begin airing. It is a specialty network that is actually owned and operated by the National Football League as whole and is shown in the United States as well as parts of Canada.
The NFL Channel airs all of the pre-season games as well as many seasonal games live whenever possible. One of the other great features of this network is that if you miss a game, you can watch a re-run of it as they replay them several times afterward. In addition the NFL games, they also run their own, customized programming. Presently, there are twelve programs in total which include a college football show, a daily highlights segment, the ‘Team Cam’ which airs live coverage of any NFL-related press conferences, as well as sports-oriented movies vintage and current, the replay show and more. Football fans could actually watch for a month of Sundays and still be newly entertained on a regular basis.
Most people think the controversy is the result of the satellite TV providers monopolizing the NFL Channel when in actuality, there are presently more cable than satellite providers. DirecTV and Dish Network both carry it as well as NPS which is a C-Band satellite provider. The list of cable companies that carry the NFL Channel are:
1. Comcast based in Philadelphia, PA
2. Cox Communications which is a wholly-privately owned network as well as the 3rd largest cable provider in the US
3. Verizon FiOS TV – available throughout certain parts of the United States and was the first to offer ‘fiber optic’ television service
4. Insight Communications head-quartered in NYC but currently only available in Kentucky, Ohio, Illinois and Indiana
5. WOW! cable and internet service provider ranked the best in 2004
6. RCN a high-speed/broadband fiber optic, cable company serving the metropolitan markets of NYC, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington DC, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco.
The controversy actually lies in a dispute between the cable companies and satellite TV providers in conjunction with Time Warner. Time Warner accused Direct TV of lying about having the only access to the NFL Channel in an attempt to lure people away from Time Warner Cable. In lieu of this controversy, Time Warner Cable dropped the NFL Network from its list of available programming in September 2006. Additionally, Charter Communications also previously dropped it in December of 2005.
So that’s the story about the NFL Network and its controversy folks in a nutshell.