Time Warner will carry NFL Network for now, says Media Bureau

The FCC Media Bureau Aug. 7 denied a Time Warner Cable request for a stay and reconsideration of an order it issued requiring the company to reinstate carriage of the NFL Network on cable systems recently acquired from Adelphia and Comcast.

On Aug. 1, Time Warner dropped carriage of the NFL Network on those cable systems. According to the FCC, negotiations between Time Warner and the NFL prior to the conclusion of the Adelphia deal were unfruitful. The NFL then offered Time Warner authorization to carry the NFL Network for 30 days on the same terms it was carried on Adelphia and the Comcast systems to be transferred. The temporary carriage agreement would have given Time Warner the time needed to give customers the the 30-day notice required by the commission before dropping a cable network. Time Warner rejected the offer and dropped the NFL Network at the beginning of the month.

As a result, the NFL filed an emergency petition for injunctive relief with the commission requesting a return to the status quo. On Aug. 3, the Media Bureau granted the injunction pending further review. Time Warner then filed an instant application for stay and request for review by the full commission. On Aug. 4, the NFL countered, filing an opposition to the stay.

The FCC’s Aug. 7 order requires Time Warner to continue carrying the NFL Network on all newly acquired Adelphia and Comcast cable systems under the terms it was carried prior to Aug. 1 until the NFL petition in the matter is resolved or until 30 days after Time Warner notifies customers of its decision to drop the NFL Network, whichever comes first.