Millions of US sports fans could be set to lose out on watching their favorite teams on January 1 2019. Tribune Broadcasting television stations in 24 markets across the country have begun informing Spectrum subscribers that they may lose sports and entertainment programming provided by the company’s 33 television stations in those markets when the contract between Tribune Broadcasting and Spectrum expires.
The company, which also includes Covers Media Group, a source of online sports betting information, has established websites for each of its affected television stations and for WGN America where Spectrum customers can obtain more information about the potential for service interruptions.
More than six million subscribers could be impacted if an agreement is not reached; in addition to local news, such programming as the National Football League playoffs and NCAA basketball could be lost.
“The NFL playoffs begin January 5 and we want football fans in our markets to be able to watch these games and root for their favorite teams—we want to reach an agreement with Spectrum,” said Gary Weitman, Tribune Media’s senior vice president for corporate relations. “We’ve offered Spectrum fair market rates for our top-rated local news, live sports and high-quality entertainment programming, and similarly fair rates for our cable network, WGN America. Spectrum has refused our offer.”
He added: “We are only a few days away from the deadline to reach an agreement with Spectrum, just as we have done with every one of our other cable, satellite and telco distributors. We felt that now was the time to begin telling Spectrum subscribers that they may lose access to our stations and the programming they provide.”