Monday, March 13, 2006

What are we Comcast, chopped liver?

By: Jim Williams
The Examiner

The New York
Mets start their
new regional
sports network
this week. Why
should we care that SportsNet New
York hits the air?
Simple, Comcast is a partner in
the deal and you will never guess
what is going on in the Big Apple.
Cablevision, the largest cable
company in the New York area, is
threatening not to carry the Mets
on their systems. Cablevision owns
the Madison Square Garden Network
and has part ownership in
Fox Sports Net New York. For the
past four years they were the Mets’
home. But now the team has its own
network so to protect MSG and FSN
the folks at Cablevision may not be
airing the Mets.
Stop me if you have heard this
Comcast, which is protecting
Comcast SportsNet here in the
Washington/Baltimore area, would
like you to think there is no room
for another regional sports network.
And the Mets’ new network
is the fourth regional sports carrier
in New York.
But Comcast is involved in the
new Mets network. They are involved
with a regional network in
Atlanta that is the third one there
and also does programming in Florida
making it the Sunshine State’s
third regional network. They are in
Dallas as partners with the Cowboys
network. A few years ago, they blew
into Chicago, put together a great
business plan and within a year took
over the major sports teams in the
second city and put Fox SportsNet
Chicago under.
Again, there is nothing wrong
with Comcast doing business and
developing fine regional networks
like they have here.
But claiming there is no room
for two regional sports networks in
what is the fourth-largest TV market
when you combine D.C. and Baltimore
is simply wrong.
It is time to play fair. Some D.C.
area customers pay around $50
or more per month to Comcast.
Shouldn’t that cash bring the chance
to see the hometown team.
Comcast fights for its customers
in New York City, Atlanta, Dallas
and Chicago.
Why not us? Give us the games.
You owe it to us as customers.

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