Why Time Warner Cable Is the Only Thing Standing Between the NFL and Domination

Alexander DiegelCorrespondent IIIMay 23, 2012

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 03:  NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell addresses the media during a news conference ahead of Superbowl XLVI on February 3, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

The NFL has taken over the television game. Networks' greatest buys are Super Bowls and playoff games. DirecTV allows you to take your games on the go with your mobile device. The NFL Network is a must-have for all cable subscribers. All of them except Time Warner's 15 million or so customers.  

Time Warner and the NFL Network have been at odds since the channel was introduced to homes around the country five years ago. That the NFL Network started carrying more regular-season games has only deepened the divide.

With the addition of the regular-season games, NFL Network's annual revenue will approach $700 million. For football fans, the dispute is much like last year's dreaded NFL Lockout: Who do you side with, the millionaires or the billionaires?  

For those NFL purists who remain loyal to Time Warner Cable, the future looks bleak. The NFL Network is unlikely to come down from its standard revenue share of 81 cents per subscriber, and Time Warner appears to be closer to dropping channels than adding them.

The company is thinking of finding a niche for customers on a budget and may eliminate some channels to keep monthly subscriptions under 40 dollars a month. One analyst said that carrying the NFL Network just "isn't a big deal" to Time Warner.

It looks like the NFL will have to settle for dominating the competition at virtually every other television medium. It is either that or reduce its profit to satisfy their customers. The horror.