More Indians/ONN Stuff

Plain Dealer sports/media columnist Roger Brown does some more musing today on the prospect of cable’s Ohio News Network (ONN) picking up the Indians TV deal this season.

This time, Roger speculates that ONN is hoping to ride the Indians’ success on the field to prominence on Ohio’s cable television lineups. Presumably, this would come in some parts of the state at the expense of the Cincinnati Reds, a team which we suppose Roger believes would lose long-time fans because the Reds stink and the Indians could be headed back to World Series Land.

We’ve heard of reaches before, but this one crosses a few counties.

One thing we did think about while sharing this news with a relative who has satellite TV at home…to the best of our knowledge, ONN is NOT carried by either DirecTV or Dish Network. They only carry the local over-air stations, and FSN Ohio. If ONN picks up the Tribe, they’d surely want the satellite audience in Ohio, no? We haven’t heard any rumblings that ONN is even aware of this potential problem…and the Indians 2006 season is not THAT far away.

One would also presume that the Dispatch Broadcast Group folks in Columbus – ONN’s owners, not the state of Ohio, Roger – would want more money from both satellite and cable operators to cover the reported cost of picking up the Indians broadcasts. And as more than one OMW reader noted, Time Warner…just months away from becoming Northeast Ohio’s most prominent cable operator…carries ONN on a digital channel. (119, if we remember right.)

In all, there are lots of hurdles ahead in this deal as far as potential viewers are concerned. OMW hopes the Indians are aware of that.

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