Friday, October 05, 2007

Cox blames WFSB, but it's not that simple

The Giants-Jets game won't be seen in Cheshire, Meriden or Southington because WFSB has chosen to show the Patriots game Sunday at the same time and Cox Cable doesn't carry WCBS-2. A Cox spokeswoman told me "We're completely at the mercy of WFSB." But years ago Cox carried most of the New York affiliates. It since has dropped them, presumably to save money. So the point is not that WFSB in Hartford thinks the Patriots are more interesting (I would disagree but I understand they had to make a choice), but that Cox has thrown out most of the NY channels. It's the same situation in Comcast Clinton. Other Southern Connecticut systems still carry WCBS, for just this type of reason.

One thing Cox did do recently, quietly, is add CNN HD and TBS HD, in time for the baseball playoffs on TBS. Cox needs to do these things because it fears competition from AT&T's U-verse, which is in the area now (and recently suffered an attack by Dick Blumenthal because it offers to the service mostly in affluent areas). People with HD sets will go wherever the most HD channels are offered for a decent price.

Updated response to comment: I think Connecticut is still more Giants country than Patriots. Far more Giants fans reside below I-84, of course, but large numbers of Patriots fans have only become a factor since they got Belichick, a former Giants coach. Oh, and I might add, the Patriots thought so much of Hartford they used them as a patsy to get a new stadium built. (Premature Haaatfid Courant headline: Touchdown!)
The problem is that if you were raised in New Haven or Fairfield County, you look to New York for sports and culture and news, not Hartford or Boston. We are closer to New York than Boston, too.


Anonymous said...

Last time I checked Connecticut was a New England state....and the team is the New England Patriots...
You want to see the Jets play the Giants? Move to NY or upgrade to satellite.

jdfromla said...

For what it's worth, there are many Giants fans in western MA because they align themselves more with closer Albany than Boston. The Pats did not come onto the scene until 1961. Before that, the Giants were New England's team. There are still Giant hotbeds in the Boston area as well as a great deal of Vermont. Not surprising since the Giants had a 40-year head start on a fan base and the fairly dismal record of the early Patriots. So the territorial lines are pretty blurry. Obviously, the WFSB decision was made by someone who doesn't remember life without the Patriots. Unfortunately, they alienated half of CT by doing so.

By the way, the Giants had a pretty good fourth quarter. Our CBS affiliate here in LA chose Giants-Jets so we even got to see it here.

Anonymous said...

Alientated half of CT by showing the Pats game? Its obviously been since 1961 or so since you've been here, then. And the question was about towns in Connecticut, not Massachusetts or Vermont, not being able to see the game. And if you wanted to see the game so badly and lived in one of the few towns that were affected, drive the 10 min to your local pub or a friend's house to catch it there. A little ineraction with others wouldn't kill anyone.

giantsfan said...

Right on Java Joe!

For the others, yes Connecticut is a New England state. However, Fairfield, New Haven, and even Litchfield County are part of the New York Metropolitan/Census area (moreoften called the "Tri-State"). At one time, towns like Southbury were a suburb of Waterbury. Today Southbury and Waterbury are more like suburbs of Bridgeport which is, like surrounding towns, is more like a suburb of New York now! It really is becoming a small world afterall, and other than it being our capital, Hartford has little influence over the state now in terms of media and culture. Boston even less so in this part of the state.

Look at how many people in as far away as Cheshire now, for example, take the train into Fairfield County and/or New York. Our sphere of influence is certainly elswhere, and I'm not even talking sports alliances yet.

When it comes to sports, we all know there's a line that splits the state in half. It actually runs from Northwest (Norfolk, Torrington) to Southeast (Old Saybrook). From Litchfield County to parts of Middlsex County, and everywhere in between (Fairfield and New Haven counties), it's clearly New York territory. On the other side of this line is Hartford, New London, Windham and Tolland counties, clearly Boston territory. This line actually runs the exact opposite of following I-84 (and rightfully so) if you look at the study/map done by the NY Times:

So it is really Cox's fault for dumping the New York stations a decade ago. I'm not sure if they can get them back now, without a fight from Hartford stations weary of losing viewers/ratings. U-Verse is going to give Cox a run for their money. All New Haven county U-Verse subscribers have access to all the major New York Stations, and rightfully so. So Cheshire Cox subscribers (being in New Haven County) need only jump ship to AT&T. Gotta love competition!

P.S. I don't work for AT&T. I randomly found this article when searching something on U-Verse and I'm just thrilled to finally have a choice. These cable companies #@$%ed us for far too long! :-p

Feel free to check some of these things out, those of you who disagree with our NY alliances...

U-Verse Cheshire lineup

NYC/Tri-State map

"CT Sports Fault-line" Map

NY Times article