What channel is the Philadelphia Phillies and San Francisco Giants game on tonight in the Philadelphia area and will the Cablevision and Fox Network dispute impact the ability of fans to watch their Phillies?
Philadelphia may have recently turned from a football to a baseball town. The Phillies are extremely popular and the depth and breadth of their fan base seems to grow by the day, as their playoff game last Sunday night, up against the Eagles game, was the most highly rated broadcast in the Philadelphia market.
Tonight, the Phillies try to get back to the World Series for the third year in a row as they open the National League Championship Series against the San Francisco Giants at home. Unfortunately, however, for millions of fans in the Philadelphia area, the Fox Network, really its parent company News Corp, has pulled its channels off of Cablevision as the programming agreement between the two organizations has expired. This will also impact Fox channels in New Jersey and Connecticut, though tonight with the Phillies in the National League Championship series, the impact will be greatest in the Philadelphia area.
The options for those affected are to watch the game streaming on the internet, for a fee, listen on a radio, go to a friend’s house or visit a local sports bar. But, as the first pitch draws near, it appears less likely that those with Cablevision will be able to watch the game at home on their local Philadelphia area Fox channel.
The crux of the issue is, not surprisingly, money. Cablevision says that News Corp is demanding over twice as much (from $70 million to $150 million) a year to provide Fox programming to Cablevision.
On Friday at midnight twelve Fox stations on Cablevision went dark. The timing, of course, couldn’t be worse for baseball fans, and particularly Philadelphia Phillies fans, looking forward to watching the dramatic baseball playoffs. The American League Championship series is on TBS, so for now those fans are unaffected. The World Series, however, will be shown on Fox and that could put millions more fans in jeapordy of not being able to see Major League Baseball’s signature event.
On Sunday, too, the blackout could effect NFL fans as the markets in question would miss out on Fox games, including the New York Giants throughout the New York City area.
Tonight, though, as millions of Philadelphia Phillies fans wonder what channel the Phillies and Giants game is on in the Philadelphia area, the answer is on Fox. But for some, who have Cablevision as their provider, there might be no way to watch the game on television at home without an old fashioned antenna.