The mergers of several Time Warner Cable operators in Ohio into two separate entities caused a mid-season nightmare for fans with MLB Extra Innings this past week (see Ohio Time Warner Cable Subs Get Caught in MLB Blackout Crossfire Over Pirates, Indians, Tigers Games). That issue has now been fully resolved.
According to an executive at Major League Baseball, TWC has reverted both to the prior configurations that league had at the beginning of the season. The teams adversely affected were the Pittsburgh Pirates, Cleveland Indians, and Detroit Tigers.
(SEE MLB’S TELEVISION BLACKOUT MAP)
According to the league, when the mergers of systems took place, TWC applied blackouts incorrectly. Thousands of subscribers to the out-of-market package were impacted by the blackouts.
Could such a thing happen again? It’s possible. As mergers and acquisitions of systems take place, the configurations of the blackout policy could be impacted.
Asked if there were a chance that the league as a whole would look into the blackout policy, the league said that they continue to look at it as it is the number one customer service complaint. Issues around pulling cable providers in or out of blackouts are a consideration as some have pushed back. Owners, of course, are looking to retain as much territory as possible as it adds revenues to the bottom line.
Maury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey, and is a contributor to Forbes SportsMoney blog.. He is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network (select his name in the dropdown provided).
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