The National Football League has struck a deal with Google Fiber for carriage of its two cable channels on the search engine's new broadband distribution service it is offering in Kansas City, Mo., and Kansas City, Kan.
For the NFL, the deal is another opportunity to take a shot at Time Warner Cable, the only major pay-TV distributor that is not yet carrying the NFL Network or its sister channel RedZone. Time Warner Cable is the cable operator Google is competing with in that region.
In its release announcing the Google deal, the NFL went out of its way to note that "this marks the second TV provider in a Time Warner Cable market to announce launch of NFL Network in the past three weeks." Last month, Cincinnati Bell Fioptics agreed to carry the channels.
The NFL Network isn't cheap. According to SNL Kagan, it costs almost $1 per subscriber per month. The NFL recently increased the number of regular-season games on the NFL Network from eight to 13. The channel's other programming consists of news shows about the league. The RedZone channel is a Sunday-only network that shows live coverage of various games and costs extra for subscribers.
Other programmers that have struck deals with Google include Comedy Central, Lifetime, USA, CNBC and Showtime. Google still does not have deals with ESPN or HBO. Google also carries the local TV stations in the two markets.
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