No Joy (or Hoops) in the City Beautiful

by Matthew Curtis
November 7, 2007 2:53 AM
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The first week of the NBA season has gone by and the majority of Central Florida has not been able to watch the Orlando Magic, our only pro sports franchise, play their first three games of the year. In a situation that truly defies logic and defines absurdity, the Magic (in their infinite wisdom) sold the rights to almost half their games (including 14 of the first 18) to Fox Sports Network (FSN) Florida--a channel not carried by Bright House, the area's largest cable provider servicing 850,000 customers. Seeems the ball club misjudged the situation just a bit, and thought that Bright House would get right on it and add FSN to their basic cable service, where the sports channel is carried by everyone else in Florida and virtually nationwide. But this is Orlando, and the cable company doesn't want to absorb the extra cost (like they don't charge enough already?), and only want to add FSN in a premium digital sports tier with an extra charge to subscribers. Can you say stalemate?

Since this has been going on since the summer when the Magic pulled their games from UPN-65, why the hell should we expect any progress? The whole thing is ridiculous and frustrating as hell, though it does leave me more time to preview festival submissions (a small silver lining to the stinkin' mess). I can only hope that all of these idiots end up feeling it in their pocketbooks--FSN gets no money since they're still not in Orlando and sponsors know there's only a fraction of the viewership for games that there should be; Bright House loses thousands of customers (myself included any day now) to Dish or Direct TV since they actually do carry FSN; and the Magic piss off their fan base and sponsors cause nobody can see their damn team play ball. Only in Orlando...

--Matthew

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