December 30, 2009
Regular readers may recall last week's item on the intensifying contract dispute between Fox and Time Warner cable, a beef that threatens to black out the Sugar, Orange, Fiesta and Cotton bowls for millions of Time Warner customers in markets where deals are set to expire on Jan. 1, including Austin; Dallas; New York; Los Angeles; Detroit; Orlando, Fla.; and Tampa, Fla. That could keep local fans from catching TCU in the Fiesta or Florida in the Sugar, and Dallas residents from watching their own hometown game, the Cotton, on Jan. 2. A similar dispute between different companies could leave hundreds of thousand of Iowans in the dark for the Hawkeyes' appearance in the Orange Bowl.
In Florida, Fox is also butting heads with local powerhouse Bright House Networks, major cable provider for the Tampa and Orlando markets (as well as namesake of Central Florida's new on-campus stadium). And if Rupert Murdoch thinks he's going to keep the Gators from the heart of the Sunshine State, at least two UF fans are here to let him know he's got another thing coming:
ORLANDO, Fla. -- Two Florida residents are suing FOX television stations to make sure they can watch the Florida Gators play Cincinnati in the Sugar Bowl on television.
Thomas Moore and Richard Anderson are asking a state judge Wednesday to issue a temporary injunction that would protect the broadcasting of the New Year's Day game on their cable system.
The lawsuit filed in Orlando says there is a tremendous public interest in the game since it will be quarterback Tim Tebow's last game for the Gators.
Tim Tebow's collegiate farewell as a legally-mandated public service? Sounds like an idea whose time has come. (Combine the Tebow Child's exit with coach Urban Meyer's pending hiatus after the game, and it's practically worth beaming into Florida classrooms.)
Actually, make that at least three Gator fans in Orlando: A local attorney vowed Tuesday to file his own suit against Fox this morning if there was no deal by 5 p.m. Tuesday. Shockingly, there was no deal. But maybe the litigiousness of the American little guy got their attention, attention, anyway: The Nw York Times reported talks were set to begin in earnest in Los Angeles.