NFL Network likely won't be offered in K.C.

Updated: December 14, 2006, 7:20 PM ET
Associated Press

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The NFL has offered a free week of programming to two cable television operators, but the generosity could still leave many college football fans seething.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said the league is offering the network to Time Warner Cable and another provider, Cablevision, from Dec. 24 to Dec. 30. That would allow customers to see Kansas State play Rutgers in the inaugural Texas Bowl on Dec. 28 and Minnesota vs. Texas Tech in the Insight Bowl on Dec. 29.

But Maureen Huff, a spokeswoman for Time Warner Cable, said Thursday that the offer applies only to subscribers in the New York area. Those in Kansas City and elsewhere are likely out of luck.

"They haven't extended an offer anywhere else," Huff said. "I'm not sure why."

NFL Network spokesman Seth Palansky said the network is offering a free preview to New York-area subscribers "to appease the New York residents who don't have a choice."

"There's a lot of high-rises and apartment buildings in New York that don't have the ability to get service," Palansky said.

As for Time Warner customers elsewhere getting the network, he said the decision is up to Time Warner Cable -- not the NFL Network.

"There's a ton of stuff that appeals to Kansas City residents," Palansky said. "We know it's a football town. The issue is [Time Warner]. We're trying to make it available, but we can't force them to."

Neither Time Warner Cable nor Cablevision has an agreement to carry the NFL Network full-time, meaning many Wildcat fans will not be able to watch the team's first bowl game in three years.

School officials announced Thursday that only about 200 tickets remain of its 10,500-ticket allotment for the game against Rutgers at Reliant Stadium in Houston.

Huff said Time Warner CEO Glenn Britt countered the NFL's offer by sending a letter to network president Steve Bornstein on Wednesday, offering two options: making only the Texas Bowl available to all New York-area customers on Time Warner Cable's basic tier or carrying the network all week on a digital tier.

Neither option includes Kansas City or other service areas.

"The timing is entirely up to them at this point," Huff said.

The NFL Network is available in roughly 40 million of the nation's 111 million homes with televisions, mainly through satellite providers. Time Warner says the network is asking for too much money to carry the network. Time Warner would like to offer the channel on a digital tier, but the NFL Network has declined.


Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press

ALSO SEE