Getting ready for the NFC East title game on Sunday? Bought all the beer and Jack Link’s teriyaki steak nuggets you can fit in your home? Are your pants off already? Well, hold everything there, mister. It seems that FOX and Time Warner Cable have yet to resolve a fee dispute that will keep all FOX broadcast and cable channels on their systems in 2010. According to Robert Philpot of the Fort Worth Star Telegram:
If Fox and Time Warner Cable can’t resolve a fee dispute by midnight Thursday, will Time Warner subscribers in North Texas still be able to watch the Dallas Cowboys play Sunday, or the TCU Horned Frogs play in Monday’s Tostitos Fiesta Bowl?
Depends on whom you ask.
Gary Underwood, vice president of communications for Time Warner Cable’s North Texas Division, said he believes that no matter what happens, Time Warner will continue to air KDFW/Channel 4, which will broadcast both those games, under a "must-carry" provision that also covers KDFI/Channel 27.
Some cable channels such as FX and Fox Sports Southwest, however, could still go dark on Time Warner if the dispute isn’t resolved, but other News Corp. channels, including Fox News Channel, would not be affected.
But Fox released a statement Wednesday saying that Time Warner does not have the right to retransmit KDFW’s or KDFI’s signal without Fox’s authorization.
So FOX may prevent Time Warner from airing ALL their content on Time Warner systems starting tomorrow. That means, if the dispute drags into the weekend, no Cowboys-Eagles game for you.
Now, this dispute goes to the larger issue of a day coming in the future when ALL the broadcast networks stop being free, and all migrate to cable TV packages. But that’s not what you care about right now. You want the Cowboys, and if you don’t get them, there will be swift and brutal retribution.
Now, you could send a sternly-worded letter to FOX to make sure you get the Cowboys, but I don’t think TV executives care much for your high-minded complaints. I suggest the following instead:
-Egging, followed by TP’ing
-Feral gorilla attack
These may sound severe. But I’m telling you. I’ve been on the phone with Time Warner before. Sometimes, arson is the only way they’ll listen.