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NFL Network's RedZone rocks

September 27, 2009 |  2:55 pm

Trying out the NFL Network's new RedZone channel on the computer (it's a courtesy offered to some media members who don't get the channel on their cable systems).

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The biggest benefit so far would have been seeing Brett Favre thrown an unbelievable game-winning touchdown pass against the 49ers. But that game was on my real television.

So the real benefit to me now is in this second set of games. In our house there are Cincinnati Bengals and Chicago Bears interests, so the ability to watch both games is way cool.

In fact it's keeping us from taking our dog, Dillon, down to Balboa Island for a cooling-off walk. 

This is different from DirecTV's Sunday NFL package, which also includes a Red Zone channel. But with watchers of both Versus and Universal Sports in our household, there's been a reluctance to switch cable providers. And until now our provider, Cox, has offered us every channel we wanted. It is not, however, offering the RedZone channel. Too bad because it would be a nice addition and maybe make NFL fans who switch to DirecTV for the NFL action reconsider.

We're luckier than Time Warner subscribers, who don't even get the NFL Network channel.

But if I'm running a cable system, I'd certainly pick up this channel. For NFL fans -- and if television ratings are an indication, there are a lot of them -- it's hard to pick a cable system over DirecTV with its superior NFL package that allows viewers to see every game, to put as many as eight on the screen at the same time, to watch an edited package of games that come without commercials or any extraneous standing-around time, to listen to extraordinary host Andrew Siciliano.

We've been reluctant to give up Cox because it offers us Universal Sports and Versus. We're big college football, cycling and Olympic sports fans here and have been willing to give up the all-encompassing NFL coverage of DirecTV for the wider variety of sports offerings that Universal and Versus offer.

But I'll admit, this is great right now. I'm able to watch the Bengals-Pittsburgh and Bears-Seattle at the same time. You can have one game large-sized and up to three more in a smaller screen below your big game. And if you want to switch, there's a button that says "enlarge." So if, say, I want to watch the Bears-Seattle large and a commercial comes on, I just hit the Bengals-Pittsburgh enlarge button and I've got more action on the (it's all relative) big screen.

There is also the ability to click on a tab that offers up-to-the-minute statistics for each game and a chat room where one can become very depressed about the state of spelling among our NFL football fans and about a certain lack of civility between the "chatters," but that's a seperate issue and not one limited to football fans.

Oh, and the Seattle uniforms are hideous. As are the Bengals so far. Not to mention the Bears.

The RedZone channel is available on AT&T, U-Verse, Comcast, Dish Netork, RCN, Verizon and FiOS among the largest providers. Time Warner and Cox haven't signed up. In fact, Time Warner customers can't get the NFL Network at all. Get on the (foot)ball, Cox and Time Warner.

-- Diane Pucin

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