FLORHAM PARK, NJ – As of today if you’re living in the New York area and subscribe to Cablevision, you will not be able to watch this Sunday’s Jets-Packers game at 1 pm EST on Fox(some 3 million viewers). Not if Jets owner Woody Johnson has anything to do about it.
Cablevision subscribers have been without Fox for the last two weeks after News Corp, who owns Fox, pulled their stations from the New York-based cable provider. This is not the first game to be hurt by the current Cablevision saga as the October 17th Giants-Lions game was not aired.
Giants owner, John Mara, attempted to intervene and present his case as to why the Giants-Lions game should be aired despite the dispute. However, the request was denied. Maybe because nobody wants to see the Lions play. Let’s be serious for a minute, not even Detroit fans want to see the Lions play (see local blackout rates).
Mara’s denied attempt, however, did not stop Johnson from attempting to give his fans an early Halloween treat on Wednesday. He reached out to both parties and pitched his plea.
“Today I spoke with Cablevision and News Corporation about the importance of broadcasting our game this Sunday,” Johnson said in a statement. “Both companies acknowledged the passion of our fans and their desire to watch the game. If a resolution cannot be reached, I hope that they can set aside their differences to air our game against the Packers.”
A decision has yet to be given on Johnson’s request, but he does have a stronger case than his crosstown counterpart. The Jets are a robust 5-1 and regularly generate huge TV ratings. The Packers are just as a sexy Super Bowl pick as the Jets are and boast one of the more electrifying offenses in the league. Like the 2007 Week 17 match-up of the Giants and Patriots, this could be a preliminary meeting of two potential Super Bowl teams. This game is a heavyweight bout that deserves to be seen, not only by local fans, but nationwide.
If that’s not good enough reason to air the game, there’s numbers to back up the reasoning. In four of the six games the Jets have played this year, they have generated the top TV ratings (as from Nielsen) in the 18-49 age demographic. That is not just for sporting events, but for all TV programming for the week.
The Jets-Ravens Monday night opener pulled in a rating of 10.5, which is the highest opening Monday Night Football rating in the last five years. CBS earned their highest ratings (16.7) since they began covering games again in 1998 when they featured the Week 2 Jets-Patriots matchup. Still not convinced? The Jets pulled in over 18 million viewers each, for their games against the Miami Dolphins and Minnesota Vikings.
Blame it on their “loud-mouth” head coach. Blame it on their perceived over-exposure. The bottom line is the Jets – like them or not – draw in viewers by the bundle. Hopefully, a representative from Fox and/or Cabelvision is reading this.
This Halloween, Cablevision, don’t be a field ghoul. Let us watch football and eat our fun-sized Snickers.
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