No, This Is NOT “Indians Media Watch” – It Only Seems Like It

If Plain Dealer sports media columnist Roger Brown is to be believed, the long-speculated Indians TV deal is taking shape…a script I shape, to be exact.

Brown reports that the Indians are close to announcing a new deal with two players – NBC affiliate WKYC/3, and Time Warner Cable/Northeast Ohio. The team’s reportedly set to create its very own cable channel, and Brown says the Tribe will air 130 of its games on the channel which will have TWC as its primary carrier. And as we expected, 20 games would end up on Channel 3, the first over-air appearances for the Indians in some 5 years.

Roger quotes a sports media analyst as saying the new Indians network will be likely be a basic cable network that’ll also end up being offered to satellite providers DirecTV and Dish Network.

As you can read below, in the third entry in this series of four (sorry, news happens fast), your Mighty Blog of Fun(tm) speculated Time Warner’s role in this, though we were thinking more along the lines of TWC picking up overflow from WKYC. No, if Brown is to be believed – and we’ll have to take the PD’s often flaky sports media columnist at his word right now – it’ll be Indians TV, much along the lines of the San Diego Padres’ channel we mentioned just below this item.

To that end, OMW also expects the channel to be offered to other area cable systems besides Time Warner, which takes over Adelphia and Comcast subscribers locally around the time the Indians throw out the first pitch. Cox subscribers in Cleveland should not be left in the cold, and smaller cable companies like Wooster’s Clear Picture and Massillon Cable should also be offered the chance to carry the Indians. We haven’t heard anything about if this will actually happen, but we’d be surprised if the local team shut out those viewers. (We’re not as sure, however, if the Indians and Time Warner will be as kind to TWC’s in-city cable competitor in Cleveland, Wild Open West [WOW].)

We’re also wondering…and may be the first to do so…what’ll happen if the TWC/Adelphia deal is not finished by the start of the Indians season. Would the team and TWC make some effort to make the games available to Adelphia and Comcast subscribers before they become Time Warner subscribers, after completion of the deal?

One thing’s for sure…if this deal happens, they’d better have the games on DirecTV in April, or we’ll be getting hourly calls from our satellite-owning relatives complaining about it…

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