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Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Tonight's Tuberama

Hockey returns tonight on OLN, but a complicated carriage deal may not allow you to see the games, even if you do actually get OLN. We're too confused to explain it, so we won't. Instead, we'll also remind you that Fox will eschew playoff baseball for the finale of So You Think You Can Dance, whilst ABC debuts the delayed premiere of George Lopez.

And it's so easy to forget the WB, but we won't, in the interest of our younger skewing tweenies: One Tree Hill and the new Related both get fresh starts tonight.

2 other geekspeak:

  • If you won't explain it, I will.

    OLN's deal with the NHL includes a hefty "sin tax" if OLN doesn't dramatically increase its distribution. Therefore, they would rather increase the amount of homes that get the network.

    Therefore, in an effort to increase distribution at the expense of actual hockey fans, OLN has announced that they will black out NHL games on all cable systems that don't put OLN on basic or expanded basic.

    In the NYC area, Cablevision has OLN as one of i believe 10 channels on a $5 per month extreme sports tier. Not basic. Therefore, OLN will black them out. If cable companies, like Cablevision, give in to OLN's demand, then this little watched channel will be in many homes and they won't have to pay the NHL that extra fee. OLN is also negotiating for a late season package of NFL games, that would put more pressure on cable systems to put this network on basic.

    But here's what really makes it complicated, Comcast, OLN's parent company and Cablevision, each own NHL teams, the Flyers and Rangers, respectively, and own local sports channels in those markets as well. Cablevision, as an NHL owner, signed the agreement with OLN, along with the other owners, so they are aware of this situation.

    They are part of a battle over local sports rights in the NYC area. Next season, the Mets are leaving Cablevision-owned MSG for Comcast (and Time Warner) -owned SNY. Cablevision refused to air the YES Network in 2002 after the Yankees deal with MSG expired.

    Neither of these companies are perfect angels, in Philadelphia, Comcast refuses to allow it's local sports channel to be available on DirecTV or Dish Network, giving their cable system a monopoly on local sports coverage.

    The FTC should ban cable companies from owning cable networks, and this would not be a problem. It is a conflict of interest, particularly to sports fans.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:05 AM  

  • great writeup.

    in other news, who gives a crap about the NHL.

    By Blogger joevideo, at 2:46 PM  

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