The nasty “retransmission dispute” between Tribune Company, which owns Fox CT in Connecticut, and Cablevision will be two months old on Wednesday.
For those last couple months, about 50,000 Cablevision customers have been unable to see any Fox programming, including New York Giants games and NASCAR. Now, the dispute threatens to prevent some sports fans from seeing the World Series. While withholding World Series games from fans is not a crime, it ought to be…
Retrans disputes have only been happening for the last 20 years (for a history read here) and are incredibly frustrating to sports fans who just want to watch their favorite games. Sports Fans Coalition is fighting to end these type of blackouts (and all blackouts) and has filed formal comments at the FCC asking the agency to allow sports programming to remain up during retrans disputes. “Sports should not be used as a weapon during retransmission consent disputes,” we wrote.
Sports are often used as leverage by broadcasters during these disputes because sports games need to be seen live, unlike other forms of programming. What makes this especially egregious is the tremendous resources we give to sports leagues and the generous antitrust and tax exemptions we give sports teams and leagues.
SFC calls on Tribune Company to air the World Series and other must-see sports programming during the dispute until a resolution is reached.