Apparently, Time Warner Cable had heard enough complaints from subscribers about their refusal to add the NFL Network. Convienently, after the NY Giants thrashed Carolina on Thursday, the nation's biggest cable provider finally capitulated and is adding NFL Network, along with its premium sister channel, NFL Red Zone, in time for tomorrow's games.
Pre-game, viewers now have another option, rather than listen to the usual blather on ESPN, Fox, & CBS. Add to that the fact that everyone now gets to see the NFL Network's Thursday package, and it's really a win for everyone involved. The only question is why it took so long.
This ain't the first time a major cable network was late arriving in my district. MTV was just 6 months old when it was added to cable systems in upstate New York. Of course, the fact that original VJ Martha Quinn hails from the Albany area might've had a lot to do with it, but that's beside the point. TBS was added around the same time. Back then, there were individual cable providers in each city, not one or two universal ones (Cablevision would be the other). I digress.
The only question that remains is whether or not the NFL Network will be a premium channel, which they wanted, or it'll be accessible to everyone, as MLB Network & NBA-TV are (The NHL Network is a premium channel). If I could hazard a guess, I'd say they'll set this up the same way Fox's Soccer channels are aligned. The primary Fox Soccer is accessible, while Fox Soccer Plus is a premium network. If Time Warner Cable is serious about addressing consumer needs, then they need to make the NFL Network available to everyone. Period. Then, fans will decide if they want to invest an additional $6 to get the Sports Pass block, which includes Fox Soccer Plus, NFL Red Zone, NHL Network, and so on.
In a season that so far has given the NFL a pair of public relations black eyes, they can't afford any more ill will with their fanbase. Neither can Time Warner Cable.