Comcast Sportsnet Philadelphia

Discussion in 'DirecTV TiVo Powered PVRs & Receivers' started by whsbuss, Jan 15, 2007.

  1. whsbuss

    whsbuss Advanced Member

    Dec 16, 2002
    Phila, PA


    This was posted on - I though I'd share it here for those in the Phila market:

    Verizon set to take on Comcast's TV service, with SportsNet, starts Monday.
    By Miriam Hill
    Inquirer Staff Writer
    Comcast Corp., which has been snatching Philadelphia-area phone customers from Verizon Communications Inc. for more than a year, is about to get a big taste of its own medicine.

    Verizon is expected to announce tomorrow that it will start selling its new $18 billion fiber-optic TV service this week to 100,000 homes in the area, including Bucks, Delaware, Chester and Montgomery Counties as well as in South Jersey, according to sources at both companies. The service will not yet be offered in Philadelphia.

    Surprisingly, Verizon will offer the channel that has kept thousands of area customers from abandoning Comcast in favor of one of the satellite systems: Comcast SportsNet, with the Phillies, Flyers and Sixers games it carries exclusively.

    Neither company would comment for this story, but the SportsNet agreement comes as something of an eyebrow raiser. DirecTV and the Dish Network, both satellite providers, unsuccessfully lobbied Congress and the Federal Communications Commission for years to force Comcast to share its sports programming in Philadelphia.

    Verizon is expected to charge $117.93 monthly for its combined phone, high-speed Internet and FiOS TV package in the Philadelphia area. Comcast charges $99 for a similar package, but that rate is available only for one year to new customers. The company has not said what it will charge after the introductory period, but the three products, if purchased separately, cost about $130.

    It may be some time before the competition between the two telecommunications giants has a noticeable effect on prices. Indeed, the service bundles for television alone can be so complicated that they defy useful comparison.

    In one Maryland community where Verizon and Comcast have locked horns, consumers have reported that they've been able to negotiate with sales representatives for free add-on services such as the premium movie channel Cinemax. Others make their decision based on their experience with each company's reliability and customer service.

    Battle for market share

    Philadelphia-based Comcast has won about 1.3 million phone customers in the last year, 80 percent of whom buy a triple-play package of phone, high-speed internet and cable TV service.

    Verizon has fought back with a triple-play product of its own, but it includes satellite television, which in Philadelphia means no Phillies, Flyers or Sixers games. With its new FiOS TV product, which is similar to cable, as part of its lineup, Verizon should be able to compete more effectively.

    It is not clear why Comcast agreed to share SportsNet with Verizon. As part of this deal, Verizon also agreed to carry three other Comcast channels: PBS Kids Sprout, the Golf Channel and VS., the sports network formerly known as OLN. That gives Comcast a broader audience for its content, potentially allowing it to charge more for ads.

    Because of an exemption in federal law, Comcast does not have to share its local content such as SportsNet with competitors.

    But while Comcast has kept sports content from satellite competitors, it has shared it with RCN Corp., a cable company with a small number of customers in the Philadelphia suburbs.

    Hearing planned

    Comcast's decision comes on the eve of a hearing this week by Sen. Arlen Specter that will focus on whether cable companies kill competition by hoarding sports programming.

    Comcast also may use local sports programming as a bargaining chip in its bigger battle with the NFL Network. The company has balked at prices the NFL wants to charge for some games, resulting in litigation. Company executives also have complained that it cannot buy NFL Sunday Ticket, a popular package of football games available only to DirecTV subscribers.

    Verizon's ability to offer local sports undoubtedly will thrill Philadelphia sports fans, but executives at DirecTV were fuming.

    "Comcast continues to deny tens of thousands of DirecTV customers and loyal Philadelphia sports fans access to their home teams while providing their regional sports network to a small cable service and now Verizon, which has yet to sign up a single customer," said Susan Eid, DirecTV's vice president of government relations.

    "All they've done is added insult to injury by continuing their anticompetitive behavior and shamelessly demonstrating their disregard for Philadelphia's sport fans."

    Satellite companies' inability to get Philadelphia sports programming has hurt DirecTV and the Dish Network here, she said. The two companies have less than 10 percent of the Philadelphia market, compared with 26 percent nationally.

    Verizon has agreements with 94 municipalities in Southeastern Pennsylvania to offer FiOS TV. It does not yet have such an agreement with Philadelphia.

    Verizon can offer FiOS statewide in New Jersey. Verizon will roll out the service gradually. It is expected to announce which municipalities will get the service first tomorrow.

    Contact staff writer Miriam Hill at 215-854-5520 or
  2. Philly Bill

    Philly Bill Everyday is Saturday

    Oct 6, 2004
    I'm not sure if I missed a discussion of this in recent weeks... but it sure seems like I now see quite a few Philly/Comcast Sports Net games on MLB Extra Innings when there were NONE for years. It's nice to see/hear Harry, Wheels and Gary Mathews... but what gives? I missed it. Did CSN finally come to an agreement? I thought CSN/Philly was on the old (non-sat) Prism system and could not be used? (or that was Comcasts 'excuse'?) It appears it works fine now. :)

    Last night the game was on in HD for MLB EI... with the HD feed from CSN/Philly
  3. helmdawg

    helmdawg New Member

    Oct 6, 2006
    A bit off the subject but hopefully some Philly folks could chime in. Recently my off-air channels 10-1 and 6-1 I can longer get. Is anyone else in Philly having this problem?

    BTW - D-TV is coming out tomorrow to check the LNB's and antenna.
  4. bonscott87

    bonscott87 Done.

    Oct 3, 2000
    Which is total BS. They turned it down the last time it was put up for bid. They turn it down because they don't like the price and then they cry and whine about how they can't get Sunday Ticket. Either put up for shut up Comcast.
  5. whsbuss

    whsbuss Advanced Member

    Dec 16, 2002
    Phila, PA


    Nothing has changed regarding CSN/Philly and the sat providers. There's been no further follow up to the story I posted in January. However, Verizon FiOS TV does provide CSN/Philly as part of their lineup. So there's at least some competition for Comcast.
  6. avoiceoreason

    avoiceoreason New Member

    Dec 7, 2001
    No intention to hijack the thread, but in response to your question, I just noticed in the past week that my OTA 10-1 is no longer coming in, or it's at least very spotty. However, my 29-1 is now back which had disappeared over the winter/spring months. So it seems I've lost one and got one so a frustrating wash for me.
  7. jeff125va

    jeff125va New Member

    Mar 15, 2001
    Ashburn, VA USA
    Are Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games available on DirecTV on the season packages or not? Or is it just the home games that aren't available?
  8. Philly Bill

    Philly Bill Everyday is Saturday

    Oct 6, 2004

    Well I just don't get it. I'm in Memphis watching the Phils/Tigers game on Extra Innings and the feed is once again the CSN Philly feed. :confused:

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