Friday, April 6, 2012

Bill Center takes angry comments over TV deal in chat

So the Padres dropped their home opener 5-3.  At points, it looked like they were reprising Tony Bennett's famous ballad, 'I left my glove in A-ri-zona' with the 3 errors.  At least Jesus Guzman knocked in a run and Cameron Maybin launched a mammoth 2-R shot.

Today Bill Center had a second consecutive chat on the U-T website.  As you might have expected, there was some grousing about yesterday's result, some questions about who the owner is and will be, and a LOT of anger directed at the Padres over the TV deal.  And frankly there should be.

Some of that delay was due to MLB's obstinance regarding the use of funds initially received by the Padres once they signed the deal.  Most of us had surmised the delay was entirely due to fallout from the Frank McCourt debacle, and we were right - MLB did not want Moorad to put the new TV money to personal use, or to even have the opportunity to do so.  Moorad's assurances on this point weren't enough, apparently, and that's too bad.  Not all men are as dishonorable as McCourt.

But because of that MLB position the TV deal was not and is not done.  The fact that games are on TV at all is something of a miracle, a good faith sign between the Padres and Fox Sports SD that they will in fact be awarded this contract somewhere down the line.

That's not why fans are upset.  Most fans suffered through the past years of only being able to see the Padres on Time Warner or Cox, thanks to the Channel 4 SD arrangement.  If you had another cable TV service provided besides those two companies you were SOL.  When the Time Warner deal expired, many fans were happy thinking the 2012 season would be available city- and county-wide.  And yet it's not.  One can still see the games on Cox; one can now see the games on DirecTV; but if you have Time Warner, U-Verse, Dish Network, or some other provider you're still SOL.

No wonder people in the north county are defecting to the Angels. 

Whether or not this is an issue between the Padres and FSSD or between Fox and the cable TV providers is irrelevant.  In this day and age people want to watch the games at home.  Listening to the radio isn't good enough.  Quick poll:  how many of you even HAVE a radio in the house where your TV sits?  Anyone?  There you go.  To allow the conditions of the previous decade to continue into the start of this season is ridiculous.  This needs to be fixed ASAP. 

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