Cable hardball or satellite long jump?

by Roger Pynn

It may be poetic that Hearst Television chose Major League Baseball’s All-Star break as the week it would play hardball with Bright House Networks over its carriage agreement … not to mention the looming excitement of the Olympic Games in London.  But you have to wonder what message a broadcaster is really sending to its viewers and advertisers by pulling this plug in an age when most viewers get their signals via a third-party system.  Hearst owns WESH-TV here in Central Florida.

I found it interesting that Orlando Sentinel TV Guy Hal Boedeker pointed out that WESH fans were being forced to watch weathercasts from a stand-in station in Central Pennsylvania.  Stations like WESH make a big deal of their weather coverage.  In fact, they can drive you crazy with wall-to-wall coverage of a storm somewhere in the region that will never affect you.  Once these media giants kiss and make up, I wonder who viewers will turn to … Channel 2’s FIRST ALERT WEATHER or WFTV’s Severe Weather CENTER 9?

Meanwhile, the folks at DIRECTV and DISH Network must love the calls they’re no doubt getting after WESH warns that it may be time “in light of this impasse” to make alternate arrangements that might just include switching from cable to satellite.

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