Orlando Magic Blog

Group Blog talking about the NBA 2009 Eastern Conference Champions. Due to the amazing success of the 2009 playoff run comments are now frequently deleted to kill offensive comments, incoherence, or asininity. Comments can no longer be anonymous and require either a Blogger or OpenID account.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

TV tangle looming for Magic games

Orlando Magic fans may have to pay extra to see an estimated 35 games on television this coming season unless Bright House Networks and Fox Sports Network can reach an agreement to avoid passing on the higher costs.The issue stems from the Magic's decision to switch those games from over-the-air provider WRBW-Ch. 65 to FSN, which currently is not part of cable provider Bright House's coverage in Central Florida.The majority of Magic games, carried on Sun Sports, will not be affected. Sun Sports and FSN are sister networks under the Fox Sports umbrella.It will be the first time since the Magic's first season in 1989 that they won't be doing in-house production for a flagship over-the-air station. Instead they will be selling the rights to all their games to one regional provider, a trend that already includes almost half of the NBA teams.Cathy Weeden, general manager of FSN/Sun Sports, said that negotiations with Bright House will begin soon and her hope is that the cable provider will add FSN to its general coverage.Sara Brady, the spokesperson for Bright House, said her company could add FSN but only as part of a sports-tier package, which would require an additional fee. "We believe it belongs on a sports tier. It's the logical place for this type of programming,'' she said. "The audience that wants it will be able to see it.''By putting it on a sports tier, according to Brady, it avoids passing on the higher cost to everyone else, many of whom don't want or need the extra sports programming.Said Weeden: "Our position is that local sports should be available to the widest possible audience, on an expanded basic cable.'' Central Florida is one of the few areas in the state that doesn't have FSN in the majority of cable-connected homes.Florida Marlins baseball and Miami Heat basketball are carried on FSN in South Florida. Terry Walden, director of broadcast operations and programming at WRBW-Ch. 65, would not comment on losing the Magic programming.Joel Glass, Magic vice president of communications, confirmed the team's decision to switch games to FSN."We're hopeful that Bright House and FSN/Sun Sports will come to an amicable resolution and continue to provide the best coverage for our fans,'' he said.


  • At 11:39 AM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    35 games is alot,and i'm gonna miss watching the magic on our own station for most of the away games (on upn65). Unless brighthouse decides to go with a sports package (which may happen,but no time soon),anybody without direct tv or dish network is gonna miss out trying to watch the magic games in the comfort of your own home. The 50 or so games on sun sports will be all you'll get. THAT SUCKS!!!!!

  • At 7:13 PM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    Let me get this straight... the Magic are taking 35 games on free over-the-air TV and plan to put them on cable (FSN) instead? Wow... what a public relations blunder by the Magic. Not everyone has cable, and there should always be some games made available for over-the-air TV. And to make matters worse, Magic fans that already have cable would have to pay extra to get FSN per month. Why are the Magic doing this? Don't they know that the more people they can potentially reach on free TV, that more people will be exposed to the Magic and very well could be future fans of the team.

    How many other teams in the NBA do not have any games at all on free TV? Here in the Chicago area, the Bulls have about 30-35 games a season on free TV.

    Terrible move by the Magic.

  • At 10:53 PM, Blogger Matt said…

    Bad PR move out of greed. The Magic owes the public for delivering the new arena without whose support would have never become a reality.

  • At 12:12 AM, Blogger Syntribo said…

    Yeah, we even get some Bulls games here in Florida on WGN. Not a smart thing.

  • At 12:33 AM, Blogger WeRDevos said…

    I guess that $120 a month I pay to DirecTV is finally paying off.

  • At 3:05 PM, Blogger OVERWADED said…

    I just dropped Brighthouse for DISH a few months back. I'm paying less and getting a lot more in comparison to Brighthouse.

    I remember years back when the Magic had to iron out things with The Sunshine Network, and we almost had to miss a bunch of games, but they worked things out on time.

    I myself liked when the Magic's free games were on 18. The channel was just a lot better of quality.

    UPN 65, even though I think they are affiliated with 18 now in one way or another now, blows. They probably have the worst picture quality of any cable channel I've seen.

    However, if the Magic have changed, and it makes it harder for fans to watch them on TV, then that's a dumb move; because they’re in the prime years where they need to start "winning fans".

    But it's not like that'll change what local bars and restaurants will have Magic games on, because none of them ever did.

  • At 3:18 AM, Blogger Ben Q. Rock said…

    This really, really, really sucks. Bigtime. I don't understand why the Magic would want their team to be harder to watch. They aren't doing their fans any favors.

  • At 9:17 AM, Blogger Matt said…

    Ben, the answer to your why question is clear; GREED. They expect to earn more money by selling the showing rights to a cable channel. In a business like this, one has to weigh the extra revenue earned versus the fan support lost, and this ownership has a history of not been very smart in that department.

  • At 4:28 PM, Blogger OVERWADED said…

    If money is involved, that is always what it comes down to.

    Brighthouse runs the area as far as Cable TV goes, and their prices are pretty insane. They charge you for anything they possibly can.

    But one way to think about it; how many Magic fans, or sports fans does not have ESPN? Anyone who cares about sports has ESPN. The nice thing for the cable company to do would be to include FSN with the same packages that have ESPN 1 and 2.

    The worst case scenario, as it stands today, those people with ESPN would have to pay an extra 1.99 a month of the Sports Pak... Now for the people who still have basic cable, and I honestly don’t know anyone with basic cable, they were already missing all the games on Sun Sports, so this will send them to the radio or elsewhere.

    One cool thing, with FSN, they broadcast a lot of games, Devil Ray, Marlins, and Atlantic Coast Conference basketball; and they do so in High Definition. UPN never broadcast a single game in HD, only Sun Sports.

    No offense to those who don’t use HD, but once you’re watching in HD, especially sports, it sucks to have to watch something on UPN. And a day will come, that will force a lot of people to change something, maybe even their equipment. Just like VHS was dropped for DVD, one day regular TV will be dropped for HD. Federal regulation mandated that sometime in the future all broadcast signals must transition from analog to DTV. The last I read, TV stations must make the transition and convert by February 17, 2009. Of course that change will affect more than just Magic fans.


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