Once upon a time, Phillies baseball could be seen on over-the-air, free television stations. With the Phillies' recent television deal, that is a thing of the past. Comcast Sportsnet snatched those 33 free games away from viewers with antennas. And now, cable conglomerate Comcast wants people to pay for those games.
According to Bob Fernandez of the Philadelphia Inquirer, Comcast may black out those games:
Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia is asking pay-TV operators, including Comcast itself, to pay for those additional games on cable, according to multiple pay-TV operators who declined to be identified.
The sports network has warned that it would black out 33 Phillies games on the TV systems that decline to pay.
Essentially their argument is this: We could offer you more Phillies games than we did before. Pay us more money, or we'll just black out the games we used to not carry. So, non-Comcast cable providers that carry Comcast Sportsnet such as Verizon Fios will have to pony up money, or else will only be able to carry 129 games.
This is probably further bad news for satellite subscribers. Even though the new television deal with the Phillies states that Comcast Sportsnet must be offered to satellite companies, that does not mean that the satellite companies will want to pay the asking price that is apparently getting higher right now.
The Inquirer report states that Comcast cable customers will not be affected, since they have agreed to their own sports network's new charges. Only about 20 games will be broadcast on free television, with most of them coming on NBC10, who like Comcast Sportsnet is owned by NBC Universal.