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NFL Network, Time Warner agree on free week

NEW YORK (Dec. 18, 2006) -- The NFL Network will be available for free to most Time Warner Cable subscribers next week, giving many Rutgers fans a chance to watch the team's bowl game.

The network said Dec. 18 it accepted Time Warner's offer to make a "freeview" available from Dec. 24-30 to customers who subscribe to the cable TV operator's digital basic tier. Time Warner confirmed that 75 percent of its New York-area customers receive that particular service.

Rutgers, coming off one of the best seasons in school history, plays Kansas State in the Texas Bowl on Dec. 28 in Houston.

"We're delighted for both the Rutgers fans and our customers in the New York City-New Jersey area," Time Warner Cable spokesman Mark Harrad said.

The "freeview" will also include the Insight Bowl between Minnesota and Texas Tech on Dec. 29, but it will not include the Dec. 30 NFL game between the New York Giants and Washington Redskins. Fans in the New York and Washington areas can see that game on another station.

Neither Time Warner nor Cablevision, two of the nation's largest cable carriers, carry the NFL Network. Last week, Cablevision agreed to broadcast the network only for the Texas Bowl, showing all pre- and post-game coverage.

The Texas Bowl not being available to many viewers in New York had become a contentious issue because Rutgers has become a popular team in the area. The NFL Network owns the rights to the Texas Bowl.

The NFL Network is available in about 40 million of the 111 million homes with TVs. In comparison, ESPN, which

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