Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Royals Not on FSN in Omaha

I got a rude awakening when I went to turn on the game today. It wasn't on television even though it was supposed to be. So, I called Cox Communications and they said that MLB blacked out the game and they were negotiating with them regarding future broadcasts.

So, I called MLB and after being transferred twice, got a voice mailbox, on which I left a message asking why the game that was being played in Detroit was blacked out in Omaha (which is 733 miles away). Nobody returned my call. And if you want to hear an even bigger frustration--the radio station in Omaha that carries the Royals doesn't do so when the Royals play afternoon day games.


Then I found this story in the Topeka Capital-Journal saying that in some markets Cox Communications has chosen not to carry 40 of the 140 games that FSN is planning to show. Why?

"It's not part of our contract with Fox Sports," said Sarah Kauffman, a spokesman for Cox Kansas. "When a programmer wants a lot more money for something, ultimately the consumer ends up absorbing those added costs. We weren't willing to ask our customers to pay for that increase."

How about asking the customers first?

And let me get this straight...the television guide on Cox says that the the Royals were supposed to be televised this afternoon; one of their customer representatives blamed the problem on MLB; and now a spokesman for Cox is saying that its a financial issue. So which is it? Apparently, Cox doesn't have a clue.

As a side note, here's something else that doesn't make sense. Fans are willing to pay to watch their favorite teams, but MLB blacks out games within several hundred miles of the stadium. What is the point of a blackout? I live 200 miles from Kauffman Stadium. The idea that I'm going to jump in my car to catch a game during the week is slim to none. But I'm willing to pay to watch it on television. Why in the world would you tell a fan that you don't want his or her money?

I have a hard time understanding how MLB even survives sometimes.


Anonymous said...

I don't know how quickly this will be settled for you, but Dish Network tried to play this game a few years ago with Viacom (so that includes a lot of channels). For one day (or it may have even been part of one day), their customers didn't get any of these channels. After all of the complaints, Dish quickly decided to reach a deal with them. They gave the "don't want to pass it on to our customers" thing too. Hope it ends soon for you! If not, there is always DirecTv.

Royal stuck in Lincoln said...

I was in school when Cox and FSN first started carrying games w/ RSTN. Time Warner in Lincoln still hadn't picked it up. One or two strongly worded letters were sent on that one! MLB Extra Innings is doing their free preview for a week or two, do you have access to that?

Lee Warren said...

I'm getting email from other unhappy Royals fans about this and all of them are saying that they are calling Cox to voice their displeasure.

DirecTV is an option. Extra Innings might be too, but they normally black out every game KC game in Omaha, so I don't know if that would be the case with the preview or not, but it's worth looking into.

For now, I'm going to see if Cox OnDemand will offer the games for a fee and I'll let you know when I find out.

Anonymous said...

Cox (in Omaha) has had issues with KMTV and KETV over their HD signals and now the Royals.

The issue is with Cox. I am seriousily considering a switch to direct TV.

Anonymous said...

Lee -

I would appreciate it if you could keep us posted on any developments.

Jake B.

Lee Warren said...

I just called Cox again and unfortunately, they are just as clueless as they were during my initial conversation with them. The representative I spoke with today says that MLB is blacking out the 40 games that are in question. I informed him that MLB is not blacking these games out and that all he has to do is google what other Cox representatives are saying and he'll see that Cox just doesn't want to show the games for financial reasons. He wouldn't budge. I didn't either.

I went on to ask him about whether Cox would be offering the games OnDemand and he said no, and that even if I ordered the Extra Innings package, those 40 games would be blacked out by MLB. I said this before and I'll say it again...why in the world would a business tell prospective customers that we don't want your money?

At this point, I'm open to ditching Cox and going in another direction. If someone in Omaha has DirecTV and if they are getting the "blacked out" Royals games, I'd appreciated an email or a comment left here. The next "blacked out" game is tomorrow afternoon.

Anonymous said...

My parents have direct tv in southern washington county. They had the sunday game.

Anonymous said...

I was told the same thing that MLB/Fox Sports is blocking the games. In my opinion, Cox is intentionally misleading their customers. I am sending an e-mail to the OWH asking them to do a story.

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