Once again it is the fans that suffer while billionaires fight over tip money.

Back in March, the Rays signed a new TV deal with Fox Sports Net to air 150 of the 162 games during the 2009 season. The move was made to increase the number of households that have access to the majority of Rays games. Last year, 69 games aired on the ION network which did not reach most of the state.

As part of the new deal, Fox Sports Net will show half of the games on Fox Sports Net Florida and half on their Sun Sports Network.

However, as we have been informed by several readers, there are a large number of fans that are unable to see the games being broadcast on Sun Sports.This will include tonight’s home opener.

This is a result of a a fees dispute between the cable companies and Sun Sports over the broadcast of Rays games.

Verizon spokesperson Bob Elek confirmed Verizon is negotiating with Sun Sports, and said, ”We hope to have an agreement soon so we can show the games, but right now we are looking for an agreement that is in the best interests of our customers.”

The 75 Rays games on FSN are not effected and can be seen on Verizon and Knology, as well as other the other local cable and satellite companies — Bright House Networks, the Dish Network and DirecTV.

It appears as though customers of Verizon and Knology as well as Comcast and Cox Cable, do have Sun Sports on their cable packages, but the games are being blacked out [Ed note: Verizon may have reached an agreement with Sun Sports to air the games].

According to the Sarasota Herald-Tribune this is affecting Rays fans in Sarasota and Charlotte County. Cox Cable is the primary cable provider in Gainesville and Ocala.

And these fans are also unable to turn to other packages such as MLB.tv or the Extra Innings package as Rays games would be blacked out in those areas as being part of the local Rays market.

Not only is this affecting Rays fans in these areas, but the Rays front office cannot be happy about this development. Sarasota, Charlotte County and the Gainesville region are three areas that the Rays have worked very hard to expand their fan base.

And tonight, when that fan base turns to Sun Sports to watch the home opener against the Yankees, they are more likely to see a rerun of “The Steve Harvey Show.”

Rays sign TV deal with Fox Sports Net [Bradenton Herald]
Verizon and Knology not showing Rays games on Sun Sports [St. Pete Times]
Comcast decides not to carry Rays on SunSports [Ft. Myers News-Press]
Cox Cable won’t show 75 Rays games [Gainesville Sun]
Comcast may take a swing [Sarasota Herald-Tribune]

 
 

14 Comments

  1. Mark says:

    I have comcast. I don’t know about anyone else who does, but I don’t have FSN either, so now I’m screwed out of every game. Needless to say, this is ridiculous.

  2. KillaTapes says:

    Did Comcast reach an agreement? I ask because I did not have the Sunsports games in the Boston series, but had one in the Baltimore series and Comcast’s guide is showing the game will be on as scheduled tonight. Weird.

    • not sure. I have heard from a couple ofnpeople that the games are listed on the guide, but weren’t actually shown on TV

    • KillaTapes says:

      I have to add that upon learning that Comcast also blocks me from using ESPN360, I wrote them a little letter via ESPN360′s site, explaining how mad I was about this. Let ‘em know, and we may see ‘em cave. Probably not, but it’s worth a shot.

  3. bob guckenberger says:

    Verizon reached an agreement with SunSports last Wednesday–this after I cancelled Verizon in the morning and had Brighthouse scheduled to install on Friday. So, after much confusion, I had Verizon back. Why do these cable companies have to go to “Brinkmanship” with loyal customers? If Brighthouse had NFL network, I’d still be with them.

  4. Josh stanley says:

    I have comcast in Jacksonville, and for some reason they show it on FSN, but not when it is on Sun Sports. It is so frustrating. Last year on ION I was able to watch all the games. The coverage was poor, but atleast I could watch it. I was actually excited when I heard FSN picked up the games so I could watch them on HD, but now I am wishing it was back on ION.

  5. staplemaniac says:

    This is crap. From the Gainesville Sun article it doesn’t sound like Cox is going to pick up the games all season. Fortunately, I’m about to graduate. I’ll just have to find a job where the cable provider isn’t shit.

    • WiNKy says:

      Shit! I’m in Gainesville too, looks like I’ll be moving to St. Pete for the summer. Hence the name ‘Cox’… I knew we’d be getting screwed, but this is just a rape fest.

  6. Jessica says:

    Luckily I had the option of switching to Brighthouse, which I did immediately. Knology seemed very aware that they might lose up to 5% of their customers over this, but they still didn’t want to pass on the increase to all of their customers. Sad because I was very happy with their service.
    Also it’s true that the guide shows the games scheduled on Sunsports, but they don’t actually show them. I recorded 3 hours of cage fighting. Nice.

  7. gh says:

    Add St Augustine to the ranks of comcast users who get to watch cage fighting or other crap instead of a rays game. I hope to switch to another provider.

  8. KillaTapes says:

    “Inside The Marlins, Jeff Conine”, sweet. I hate Comcast now.

  9. TK says:

    The ONLY thing that may help is if Rays fans with Comcast SWITCH TO ANOTHER PROVIDER! In Sarasota and Charlotte counties, Verizon FIOS is available in some areas, as well as The Dish Network and Direct TV throughout both counties. All three paid the fees necessary to broadcast the 75 games scheduled for SunSports – as well as the 75 games scheduled for Fos Sports Network Florida.

    Comcast has done this over-and-over again throughout the country and with regard to the home markets of many different pro sports teams.

    It’s time for the Rays to get involved and DEMAND that the 75 SunSports games be broadcast by Comcast!

  10. JJ Jones says:

    I am a Comcast customer who cannot see the Rays on Sun Sports. I am soon to switch to Direct TV. I would advice others to do the same.

  11. marlen brown says:

    Found your site by accident. Great work my friend

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