The Buzz: Where’s My Baseball?


Imagine this, you spend your entire week listening to the sports radio shows and watching all the “Baseball Tonight” episodes in anticipation of what might be one of the greatest pitching match ups ever between the Tim Lincecum of the Giants, and Roy Halladay of the Phillies. Finally, Saturday is here and you are counting down the hours till first pitch. You go out an get some ballpark food like hot dogs or burgers, and get the beverage to your liking.  Finally it is game time, you sit on your favorite couch, go to turn on the television and instead of seeing Roy Halladay take the mound against the San Francisco Giants in game 1 of the National League Championship series, you only see a blank screen.

That is what over 3 million baseball fans experienced last night in the New York area as they went to watch the game last night. The reason is because of Cablevision, the television service in the New York  area, failed to come to terms with Fox Parent News Corporation over a dispute about rates. The two sides had tabled talks for the day before the NLCS game 1 started, leaving millions of baseball fans without the ability to watch it on Fox.

Now I am not going to go into the business aspect of this story, as we here are dedicated to baseball, and I will focus more on the fan’s perspective of this story. First of all, it is good that this dispute was not raging on in the Philadelphia or California cities, as there would be a much larger uproar than there has been already. However, it still could impact New York fans as the New York Giants have a game today on Fox. So, it remains to be seen whether or not those in the New York area will get the chance to see the game.

One major thing to point out is that the World Series is scheduled to start a week and a half from now on October 28th. And the two sides have been trying to settle this dispute since last May. So, it doesn’t seem likely that they will be able to solve it by the 28th. Which means, if the Yankees beat the Rangers in the American League Championship series, most of the New York Area will not be able to watch their Yankees play in the World Series.

Such a scenario, which is very possible, probably would not make Commissioner Bud Selig too happy. The only option for Selig would be to find an alternative channel for fans to watch the game, except they would have to somehow get around the fact that Fox has the exclusive rights to host the World Series. Given how Fox has been so strict with Cablevision, and the fact that World Series on Fox can be watched everywhere else besides New York, I doubt that Fox would be willing to give up their rights for the World Series.

This is a poor form of customer service by both Cablevision, and Fox News Parenting Corporation. Their childish arguing has left many customers in the New York area upset, and dissatisfied from both of the parties. Such a thing may make the MLB look for a new Television channel to gain exclusive rights for the World Series after the deal with Fox expires in 2013.

Right now the only option that exist for baseball fans in the New York area is to either go to a Sports Bar, or listen to the games on ESPN Radio.