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

Tennis Channel grudgingly gives Cablevision access to signal

Big news, tennis fans:

Tennis Channel at last has agreed to give Cablevision access to its signal, which would be much more exciting but for the small detail that the U.S. Open ended nine days ago.

The channel will become part of Cablevision's iO Sports Pak which, like Newsday, is owned by Cablevision.

Here is the statement (grudgingly) announcing the resolution (for now):

Effective September 24, 2009, Tennis Channel has elected for now to grant signal access to Cablevision pursuant to its request under Tennis Channel’s agreement with the National Cable Television Cooperative.  We remain deeply concerned about Cablevision’s tactic of using our agreement with NCTC to undermine the parties’ longstanding negotiations and to carry Tennis Channel on terms that do not serve the interests of its customers.  Cablevision’s actions are particularly alarming in light of the recent change in NCTC, which has transformed itself from a small-operator buying cooperative into an entity that reaches 26.7 million cable subscribers.  That is more than the number reached by the largest cable provider in the United States.  These actions have industry-wide ramifications and should be addressed by the appropriate regulatory authorities.

Cablevision, which owns Newsday, parried with the following statement:

We welcome the Tennis Channel to the iO Sports Pak.  It is unfortunate that the leadership of the Tennis Channel decided to withhold its programming until now, denying our customers the ability to receive its U.S. Open coverage, but we look forward to now making it available to any Cablevision customer who wants to receive it.

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