Pittsburgh Pirates fans who hoped to watch Monday's season opener between the Pirates and Los Angeles Dodgers on their local cable system were in for a surprise.
The game was not available on Atlantic Broadband, the local cable provider.
A note on the Web site of FSN Pittsburgh said that Atlantic Broadband was one of three cable providers that have not agreed to carry all 156 televised Pirates games scheduled on FSN Pittsburgh, including Monday's home opener.
David Dane, Atlantic Broadband senior vice president and general manager, said the local cable provider will carry the majority of the Pirates games aired on FSN Pittsburgh.
He said the home opener was part of an additional 36-game package FSN Pittsburgh offered within the past two months.
"FSN Pittsburgh offered cable operators a premium price to carry the extra number of games. The additional package was quite a surprise to us when it came up. They are asking a lot of extra money for the extra games," Dane said. "We have a contract with FSN Pittsburgh to carry 120 Pirates games as we have in the past."
The 36 additional games - three in April, eight in May, 13 in June and 12 in July - that local fans won't receive include many of the interleague games with the Detroit Tigers, Chicago White Sox and Cleveland Indians.
Local Pirates fans were not happy to learn they won't get the entire package of 156 games.
"That is ridiculous. Why wouldn't they carry them? I turned on the TV and it said the Pirate game was on, but they had soccer," said Holly Straw of Hollidaysburg. "It is very disappointing for the fans."
"They should all be on. They should carry the entire package," said Debbie Andrews of East Freedom.
Other Pirates fans also were disappointed to learn the opening game was not available.
"The fact they are not carrying the home opener is a bummer. That is too bad. If they are carrying 120 games, why not carry them all? It is a shame they will not carry them all," said Bob Anthony of Duncansville.
"I prefer they carry the entire package. I don't like it. I would like them to carry opening day," said Shane Benner of Altoona.
Dane would not reveal the cost to Atlantic Broadband to carry the packages of Pirates games.
"We did our budget six to eight months in advance. We didn't have much of a heads-up. We will still carry 120 Pirates games," Dane said. "One has to wonder how much demand there is to carry 156 Pirates games."
Mirror Staff Writer Walt Frank is at 946-7467.