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Cable TV Dispute Leaves NFL Fans In The Dark

Monday, October 6, 2008 , Posted by Christopher Byrne at 10:47 AM, under , , , , ,

Athens, GA (Oct 6, 2008) - An ongoing cable television dispute left NFL fans in the dark this weekend. This time, however, it did not involve the NFL Network. This time it was an ongoing dispute between Time Warner Cable and LIN TV. As a result, people who relied solely on cable TV for access in 11 markets were impacted.

According to Multichannel News, the following markets were hit by the impact:

Green Bay, WI
Austin, TX
Buffalo, NY
Columbus, OH
Dayton, OH
Fort Wayne, IN
Indianapolis, IN
Mobile, AL
Springfield, MS
Terre Haute, IN
Toledo, OH

More from Multichannel News:

Over the weekend, Time Warner handed out about 50,000 free antennas to subscribers so they could pick up the blacked-out station signals over the air, according to Time Warner director of public relations Robyn Watson. In Indianapolis and Buffalo, the cable company aired audio from radio broadcasts of National Football League games on TV channels in those markets, according to local newspapers.

Time Warner told The Buffalo News that it had made special arrangements to ship in antennas and was handing out “hundreds an hour.” The cable operator was also offering a $20 credit to subscribers who bought antennas at Best Buy, Circuit City, Radio Shack, Target and Wal-Mart, according to the newspaper.


Although Wall Street analysts have estimated that 2.7 million Time Warner subscribers are impacted, the cable operator says that actually only 1.5 million of its customers are affected.

Whether it is 2.7 or 1.5 million, continued greed between Cable Operators, local stations, AND the NFL Network, the fans are the ones being hurt. Especially the ones who paid for cable to WATCH the games, not HEAR them on their televisions.

And how did it play in fanland? Here is a bit from the "Sports, Ink" blog at The Buffalo News:

Most surreal TV sight of the day: The computer graphic that pops up on my Time Warner cable still said, "NFL Football." And for a second, with the music and the polished graphics and the big CBS Sports logo, I thought maybe a settlement had been reached.

But no. It was the 1 p.m. start of SMU taking on Memphis in Conference USA men's soccer on the CBS College Sports Network. The weirdest thing was that the announcers were so hyped up the introduction of the contest that you would have thought it was an NFL game.

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