Where is Richard Blumenthal in the Optimum-Channel 3 cable TV dispute? The Connecticut Attorney General turned U.S. Senator is usually good for an appearance in a battle like this. Except don’t hold your breath when it comes to television
Politicos Keep Cable At Arms Length
Blumenthal, the “consumer-advocate” politician, who never met a business he didn’t like to verbally assault, could keep at arms length in this dispute. That’s because liberal politicians, the like of Connecticut’s Blumenthal, are funneled money from Hollywood, which has a cozy relationship with the cable television industry. Some might even suggest an incestuous one, the kind Blumenthal loved to attack in his day’s as Connecticut’s Eternal General. Except when the money flows into the campaign coffers, politicians tend to back off.
Blumenthal’s reaction or lack thereof could be interesting, because Cablevision, Optimum’s parent company, is running ads urging subscribers to call their elected officials to get WFSB back on its system. But, keep in mind, Blumenthal has always been treated with kids gloves by WFSB. The station never met a Blumenthal press conference it didn’t love to cover.
The heart of the dispute centers around Optimum’s refusal to pay WFSB’s parent-owners additional money to carry the channel on its Fairfield County system, because it already pays Channel 2 money for the same programming. Both WFSB, Channel 3 and WCBS, Channel 2 are CBS affiliates. Channel 3 alleges its asking price is only pennies. Meanwhile, Optimum’s other customers in Litchfield and New Haven counties are left without a CBS affiliate, because Channel 2 is not on their system.
NFL Part Of Dispute
Naturally the cable battle occurs one day before the start of the NFL playoffs. Meaning Cablevision’s Litchfield and New Haven county subscribers will be left without the AFC playoff games. That’s a scenario right up Blumenthal’s ally, considering he made a major stink two weeks ago, when important NFL games in Buffalo and Miami were blacked out under the league’s blackout rules. Blumenthal argued the games should be carried, even though they were not sellouts. So much for worrying about the stagnate economy.
I Hope Blumenthal Stays Out
Personally, I hope Blumenthal or any other politician remains on the sidelines for this dispute. We don’t need any more government involvement. Besides, as much as greed dominates both combatants in their effort to gouge the viewing public, that same public has alternatives, such as getting service through a satellite dish or dumping pay TV altogether and purchasing an antenna. Today’s antennas are so sophisticated at affordable prices, they can easily pull in over-the-air channels, even HD signals. And you could ditch those monthly bills – and taxes that go with it – in the garbage.
That last alternative would send the clearest signal. In fact, if the majority of the public followed that route, it would snap both sides in this greedy dispute
back to reality.