Conflict upsets cable customers
Cable TV customers in the Altoona area won’t be able to see Game 2 of the National League Division series between the Pittsburgh Pirates and St. Louis Cardinals.
The game, set for 1 p.m. Friday, will be telecast on MLB Network, which is not carried by local cable provider Atlantic Broadband.
A Game 4, if necessary on Monday, also could be carried by MLB Network.
“We do not carry the MLB Network and, unfortunately, will not carry this game unless a network on our current channel lineup adds the game,” said Curt Kosko, vice president and general manager of operations for the company’s Pennsylvania region in an email. “We are disappointed that MLB decided to keep this game on a network that is not as widely available as TBS and that this decision was that of MLB, not Atlantic Broadband.”
Atlantic Broadband serves more than 150,000 customers in central and northern Pennsylvania.
Some local Pirates fans are not happy.
“I don’t miss a game on TV and, come Friday … we are not going to see the game. That is a sin. I can’t be the only person that feels that way,” said Bill Wolford, 60, Hollidaysburg, a lifelong Pirates fan.
“I am very disappointed. It is a local team, they haven’t been in the playoffs for 21 years, and they will not be bringing the game to us. I think they could do something,” said Bob Housel, 87, Duncansville, who said he hopes to go somewhere to watch the game.
WTAJ-TV, Altoona, is checking to see if there is anything they can do.
“We will see if there are any options for us, but I don’t believe there are. There will probably be a rights fee, and we don’t have a lot of time to sell advertising,” Vice President and General Manager Phil Dubrow said.
Both DirecTV and DISH Network carry MLB network on some of their packages.
Comcast also carries the MLB Network on its digital preferred package and sports and entertainment package, spokesman Bob Grove said.
Locally, Comcast is the cable provider for Tyrone, Snyder Township, Catharine Township, Williamsburg and Woodbury Township in Blair County and for most of Huntingdon County, Grove said.
Comcast is also the major cable provider in the Pittsburgh area, Grove said.
Root Sports Pittsburgh, which carries more than 150 Pirates games during the regular season, cannot pick up the game, said Nik Del Greco, director of marketing.
“Unfortunately the only thing we’re allowed to carry is regular season. Once MLB goes into the postseason we’re not allowed to pick up games,” Del Greco said. “Unfortunately there’s not much we can do to help on that one.”
Fans also will not be able to view the game live online, either.
Due to Major League Baseball exclusivities, during the MLB Postseason all live games will be blacked out in the United States, the league said in a statement on MLB.com.
The game will be available at numerous establishments throughout the area that have DirecTV.
Mirror Staff Writer Walt Frank is at 946-7467.