TV battles brewing nationwide; one Boise issue solved

Cable One will show BSU-UW opener, while other markets can’t even get CBS programming.

STAFF AND WIRE REPORTSAugust 10, 2013 

Some Boise State football fans will have television access to the Boise State-Washington football game Aug. 31, while others wait.

Across the country, there are millions of golf fans who can’t even watch the PGA Championship this weekend, meaning they’ll be hanging out in bars, hooking up antennas, and firing up laptops to get around a blackout.

The business of sports television is getting serious, and fans are paying the price.

Cable One in Boise provided some good news Friday, telling the Idaho Statesman that it has reached a carriage agreement with Fox Sports 1, a new channel that debuts Aug. 17. FS1 is airing the Boise State-UW game.

Cable One will carry FS1 on its Digital Value Pack starting Aug. 17, Boise-based Cable One spokesman Becky Trask said. On Aug. 27, the network will move to standard cable channel 26 (HD channel 493).

FS1 has not reached national carriage agreements with DirecTV or Dish despite ongoing negotiations, which means customers of those satellite services are not guaranteed to get the Boise State-UW game in their homes.

That’s the least of concerns for fans in New York, Los Angeles and Dallas, who can’t get CBS programming because of a fee battle between the network and Time Warner Cable.

Nancy Keiter, a graphic designer in New York, is peeved that she can’t watch the action the normal way: by switching to CBS on her TV.

“I have my fingers crossed that cooler heads will prevail,” she said in an email interview with the Associated Press. “I think it is so rich that CBS and Time Warner say they have the ‘best interests’ of the viewers in mind. Please. This is about money and shareholders, not about the viewer!’’

CBS and Time Warner appear to be hunkered down for the long haul. Their fight is over how much Time Warner Cable pays for CBS programming and how much of the network’s content it can use online. Since they couldn’t agree, about 3 million cable subscribers in New York, Los Angeles and Dallas have been without CBS programming since Aug. 2.

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