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NFL Network, Time Warner Cable (finally!) strike a deal

I watched the New York Giants flatten the Carolina Panthers on Thursday night at a crusty beach bar in Marina del Rey, Calif.

I didn't want to be there. I had a headache. Who goes to a bar with a headache? Then again, I didn't have much of a choice.

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I, like thousands of other football fans on both coasts, have been caught in the middle of the NFL's marathon stalemate with Time Warner Cable. NFL Network didn't have a home in my living room.

That's what made the following Friday morning instant-message exchange with Around The League editor Gregg Rosenthal so glorious:

Gregg: Wait did you hear the time warner news?
Me: No
Gregg: Just broke like 30 min ago supposedly a deal is done!
Me: WHAT?
Gregg: Very exciting. Been reported in two places. Pretty (expletive) great.
Me: "Yuuuuge" (Mike Francesa voice)

According to a press release disseminated Friday afternoon, NFL Network has reached a multiyear agreement with Time Warner Cable for carriage of NFL Network and the NFL RedZone channel. Time Warner is the country's second-largest cable provider. A deal also was cut with Bright House Networks, the nation's sixth-largest provider.

NFL Network and NFL RedZone will debut in homes beginning this Sunday, with a "full launch" before next Thursday's game between the Baltimore Ravens and Cleveland Browns.

Not to come off like a corporate shill, but those of you about to be introduced to NFL Network are going to be pleased. Access to the Thursday night game and the essential NFL RedZone channel obviously are the monster takeaways here, but NFL Network produces great original programming that has been criminally shielded from too many fans for too long.

At least it used to be. Friday was a good day.

Follow Dan Hanzus on Twitter @danhanzus.

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