Time Warner Cable and the NFL Network are "strapping on their respective helmets in anticipation of a nasty carriage dispute," reports Multichannel News
. The operator may kick the network off the systems owned by Adelphia Communications that it is acquiring, including those in National Football League markets Buffalo, N.Y., Cleveland, and Dallas. The network, which added an eight-game, late-season prime-time package, is readying a multimillion-dollar ad campaign against Time Warner, Cablevision Systems, Bright House Networks, and other cable operators that don't or won't carry its 41 million-subscriber channel. Time Warner could dump the net as soon as Aug. 1, the day after the Adelphia deal looks to close. It is already alerting subscribers in Adelphia markets Wednesday that the NFL Network could be one of several either added or dropped with the ownership change. But the company says no decisions have been made, and "active discussions" continue to try and get a carriage deal.
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