Optical Entertainment Network Signs IPTV Carriage Agreement With NFL

Optical Entertainment Network (OEN), the leading provider of IPTV and broadband services built for fiber-to-the-home (FTTH), announced that it has signed an IPTV carriage agreement with the National Football League to carry NFL Network, the 24-hour, year-round football channel—including its primetime regular season games this fall to FISION subscribers in Houston. OEN will carry NFL Network within its 400 channel line-up. OEN will also carry NFL Network's exclusive national slate of 52 preseason games and will benefit from the ability to sell ads in programming targeted to America's most avid fans, NFL fans.

NFL Network recently became the exclusive home to the new primetime regular season NFL games package and announced that Bryant Gumbel and Cris Collinsworth would be the Network's primary broadcast team. NFL Network will televise 169 football games in 2006, including preseason, regular season, game re-airs, NFL Europe League, the Insight Bowl, Senior Bowl and the Bowl Game to be played in Houston, in addition to the most robust and popular sports Video-On-Demand content in the industry.

"We look forward to working with OEN to bring NFL Network to Houston," said Brian Decker, NFL Network's vice president, national accounts. "OEN recognizes the value proposition NFL Network offers and the opportunities an association with the NFL presents."

As an NFL Network distributor OEN will receive significant advertising inventory during each NFL Net game telecast. This telecast time represents some of the most valuable and sought after advertising opportunities in cable. NFL games accounted for nine of the 10 most watched basic cable programs in 2005 and NFL football has been the No. 1 rated series on cable for 19 consecutive years—since its inception in 1987.

NFL Network plans nearly 2,000 hours of original programming in the coming year, including 52 preseason games, 75 game re-airs, eight primetime games beginning with the Denver vs. Kansas City game on November 23rd, plus the expansion of programming including a half-dozen new series in the fall. NFL Network airs seven days a week, 24 hours a day on a year-round basis and is the first television network fully dedicated to the NFL and the sport of football.

"We are very pleased to become an NFL affiliate and to be the first to bring NFL Network to Houston,” said Jo-lynn Foo, VP Programming of Optical Entertainment network. “We are dedicated to working with market leaders such as the NFL to provide the highest quality sports programming available on the market today."

OEN has created FISION, the first and only integrated service for IPTV, Internet, Voice, Video-On-Demand (VOD) and other broadband applications, designed specifically to take advantage of the benefits of FTTH technology and the only service to make all of its content available for license to other communities in the US and abroad. OEN has acquired programming agreements for IPTV distribution from top television networks and will deliver 400 television channels, including over 50 channels of High Definition Television (HDTV) to subscribers, the most channels deployed anywhere to date.

FISION also delivers innovative new broadband applications such as, home security, videoconferencing, gaming, and telemedicine, 14 foreign language channels and other niche programming, and connected learning to homes. In addition, OEN will offer 10 to 100 Mbps symmetrical Internet service to subscribers’ homes, video-on-demand, subscription video-on-demand, pay-per-view specials and events as well as original HD programming created by OEN Studios, the creative television production arm of Optical Entertainment Network. OEN will initially provide its service to 1.6 million households in Houston, Texas, the 10th largest television market in the U.S., over an existing fiber network covering the majority of the city.