Neil Best leaves no stone unturned in the world of sports media.

Tennis Channel ad rips Cablevision, Newsday rejects it

The ad is large and blunt: “Thanks for Nothing Cablevision.’’

It accuses the company – which owns Newsday – of denying subscribers “Tennis Channel’s round-the-clock coverage’’ of the U.S. Open, and urges tennis fans to switch to another TV provider.

The ad has been appearing in major area newspapers this week. Not this one, though.

Newsday declined it, saying in a statement issued through Cablevision, “The Tennis Channel ads are nasty, unfair and intentionally misleading, and we don’t think anyone should carry them.’’

Cablevision pointed out in another statement that “the best and most significant matches’’ at the Open are available on CBS and ESPN.

Tennis Channel will have live action from the Open for the first time, but the majority of its coverage will be recorded.

“We have offered to make the Tennis Channel available to any Cablevision customer who wants it,’’ Cablevision added.

Translation: Cablevision wants to carry the channel on its Sports Pak for an additional charge. Tennis Channel wants to be distributed more broadly.

Cablevision said Tennis Channel “continues to demand that all our customers be forced to receive and pay for its programming, whether they want it or not.’’

This is a frequent debate in the distribution wars, famously waged between the NFL Network and cable companies.

But Cablevision is the only major area distributor that does not offer Tennis Channel, and is the largest such company in the Open's backyard. Hence the channel's frustration, and its ad. (And free pub like this blog post.)

How much will Cablevision customers actually miss of the Open?

Judge for yourself here.

Photo: AP

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