Cablevision and the NFL Network announced an agreement yesterday that will bring the channel to most Cablevision homes effective Friday.
The NFL Network will be seen on Channel 150 in Cablevision homes that subscribe to iO Preferred, iO Silver, iO Gold or iO Sports and Entertainment Pak, which the NFL estimates covers half of Cablevision customers.
The deal also will bring the NFL RedZone channel -- which focuses on potential scoring drives around the league on game days -- to Channel 151. Subscribers to the iO Sports and Entertainment Pak will receive that channel, as will customers with the new version of iO Gold that launched in the spring and includes the Sports Pak.
The NFL Network launched in the autumn of 2003 and is now in about 60 million homes. The agreement with Cablevision, which owns Newsday, leaves only Time Warner Cable without the channel among the nation's nine largest TV distributors.
It was not immediately clear what led to a deal being completed. The NFL Network, which has carried eight late-season games since 2006, will show 13 Thursday games beginning in Week 2. That move was expected to put pressure on distributors who had not carried the channel.
"We know there is significant interest in the NFL Network and NFL RedZone among our Optimum TV customers, and are pleased to have worked productively with the NFL to offer both channels in time for the upcoming season and for years to come," said Mac Budill, Cablevision's executive vice president of programming.