Not sure when the last time I missed watching the Braves home opener was, but I won't forget this season's opener anytime soon. It was historic. Bobby Cox threw out the first pitch, Chipper got his 2,500th hit and the Braves beat the Philles. What a night!
Only...I did not see any of it because I am a Mediacom subscriber. Instead, my cable provider was kind enough to provide coverage of "BallUp," a street basketball league. Excuse me...I think I just threw up in my mouth a little bit.
FOXSportsSouth and SportsSouth are carrying 105 games this season and have offered to sell the feed to another 45 games which are on PeachtreeTV to distributors like Mediacom. Last season the provider did buy the feed, but not this year.
Sally Bloom, Vice-President of Governmental Affairs and Community Relations for Mediacom told me by telephone Saturday afternoon, "Our company has not completed negotiations with PeachtreeTV to provide any of those games."
That's right, I said Saturday afternoon. While I am certain Ms. Bloom would have preferred not to be speaking with an annoying small town columnist on her day off, I am equally as certain there are thousands of Mediacom subscribers that would have preferred to watch the Braves on Friday night.
Bloom did not know when or if a deal would be struck, so as it stands now, Mediacom customers will miss another 41 games, including Friday night's matchup with the Cardinals and four next week against the Brewers. Forty-five may not seem like a lot in a 162-game schedule, but consider that of those remaining unavailable games, 35 are at home.
That's right, you will miss nearly half of the action from the Ted.
Want to watch Buster Posey when the Giants come to town in August? Then you better make alternative plans to Mediacom.
Like to relax at the end of a long week by lighting the grill and watching the Braves on Friday night? Good luck with that. There are nine Friday games which will be unavailable.
Hey, business and times are tough and surely the negotiations to provide coverage of the winning-est sports franchise in the South are all about the dollars. So Mediacom customers may have to get equally tough.
No one likes to switch providers, but Mediacom may need to understand they are not a monopoly. DishNetwork and Direct TV offer packages that include the missing PeachtreeTV games, and both providers are only a phone call away.
Surely it is not too much to ask to have the Braves available via cable. Maybe the team will bring back Chief Noc-a-Homa. He could send out smoke signals from the Ted and that would be an improvement over our current access.