World Did Not End When Pats Game Was Blacked Out In Connecticut

HDMI cordSee, the world did not end, when the Patriots AFC playoff game was blacked out in parts of Connecticut Saturday night.   The dispute between Cablevision and the owner of WFSB Channel 3, continues.  That means the signal is not being carried on Cablevision’s system in Litchfield County and parts of New Haven County.  Ch. 3 is a CBS affiliate and CBS carries the AFC games of the NFL.

When the Patriots, favorites in Connecticut along with the New York Giants and the New York Jets,  played the Indianapolis Colts Saturday night, the game was blacked out for Cablevision customers.  That didn’t mean the game could not be watched.

I watched the game on television

I am a Cablevision subscriber – although I do not know for how much longer – and I watched the game on television.  All it took was a little innovation.

The game was put on live stream on the CBS Sports website.  I simply took an HDMI cord, plugged it into the input of my laptop computer, then connected the cord to the input of my television set.  Wah-lah!  Game on the TV screen.

No, the picture was not HDTV quality, but it was very watchable.

Other viewers enterprising

Other viewers were also enterprising.  If they did not use the HDMI cord approach, some watched the game on the CBS stream with their iPad, other tablet device, laptop or desktop.  Still others cut the cable cord and purchased the new HDTV antennas, which can haul in the over-the-air signal of Channel 3 with an HD quality picture better than the one you get through cable TV.  And let’s not forget some consumers said sayonara to cable all together and had an antenna dish installed for the game.

Did not need government help

The point is, we did not need government help to watch the game, as much as the initial outcry from some was for the politicians to step in.  And for that matter, two of them did.  Predictably, U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy wrote letters to both Cablevision and the parent-owners of Channel 3, Meredith Corp. of Des Moines, Iowa, urging them to end the conflict.   Big deal, by the way.  They wrote letters.  Wow!

But we do not need the politicians help.  Let government stay out of this fiasco.  When people are left to their own will and the free market system, they will figure it out.

Tune out government intervention

The people who wanted to watch the game Saturday night, tuned out government intervention and managed to watch the game.   To me that is the real story.

At some point Cablevision and Channel 3 will settle.  And that will mean higher cable fees.  Unless, of course, the viewing public invokes the will it displayed on Saturday and uses the choices at their fingertips.   In the end, utilizing the free market system, when fees increase, might be the best conclusion to this contractual drama.

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