Many tennis fans were surprised last night when the Tennis Channel froze on their television screens.
It wasn’t a technical glitch, but an end of a contract which some television providers that effectively pulled the channel off their lineups.
Television customers with Cablevision and Verizon FIOS are no longer getting the Tennis Channel as both systems chose not to renew its contract with the tennis only station.
Cablevision issued this statement: “The Tennis Channel appears to have pulled its signal off dozens of cable systems across the country, including Cablevision, after demanding significantly higher fees. Fortunately, viewers can still see every important U.S. Open match on ESPN 2, CBS, in 3D and through the comprehensive free online offerings of the USTA, which can be viewed on the computer or on the television through our Optimum Link service, which allows subscribers to view anything on their PC on their TVs.”
The dispute apparently comes down to positioning. The Tennis Channel wants to be on the digital-basic positioning on all the providers. Both Cablevision and Verizon offer the channel on a premium basis, where it is part of an add-on package.
According to reports, the Tennis Channel has begun negotiations with Verizon, but there is no word on when Cablevision will get back to the table.