Bresnan’s makes ‘difficult’ decision to drop Rockies games
By PATTI ARNOLD
The cost to consumers to air an additional 24 Colorado Rockies baseball games on Bresnan Communications cable would be minimal, a source in the television industry told The Daily Sentinel on Tuesday.
Bresnan opted not to add 24 games offered by Fox Sports Net Rocky Mountain that were not on the previous schedule, including Monday’s season opener and this weekend’s home series against Philadelphia.
Cable and satellite companies would pay a surcharge to air those games of less than $2 per subscriber for the season, the source said.
Sean Hogue, the regional vice president for Bresnan, said Tuesday he could not discuss the details of the contract.
Mesa County is the largest Bresnan system in the region, with between 29,000 and 30,000 subscribers, Hogue said.
Bresnan opted not to add those games in order to prevent passing the charge onto its customers, Hogue said.
Amy Turner, the director of marketing for Fox Sports Net Rocky Mountain said her office fielded roughly 50 complaints between the scheduled game time Monday afternoon through Tuesday morning. Hogue said he did not know how many people called Bresnan’s regional call center in Montana.
Fox Sports Net and Bresnan officials were negotiating up until Monday, when Bresnan confirmed it would not offer the games, Turner said.
“It went public when we sent out the release and went black around 1:30 (Monday afternoon) she said. “We’re looking at close to 50 calls last night and this morning, e-mails and phone calls, from Grand Junction.
“Clearly, there’s a large contingent in Grand Junction that is interested in the Colorado Rockies.”
Hogue said Bresnan’s decision was based on whether it should pass the rate increase on to every subscriber for something not everyone would watch.
“It was a difficult decision, and you have to look at it as it’s 24 of 150 games, do we want to pass on the cost to everybody?” he said. “What’s the fair thing to do? It’s hard to say. I’m a sports fan, too, and there are no better or stronger viewers than sports fans.”
Turner said Bresnan could still add the optional games, but Hogue said the company had made its decision. Comcast Cable, DirecTV and DISH Network all picked up the entire Rockies schedule.
Turner said FSN-Rocky Mountain viewers will still get all pregame and postgame shows for all games shown, including those blacked out by Bresnan. Once the game begins, FSN will switch to other programming on Bresnan.
“There will be a lot of visuals, showcasing the whole presentation of opening day,” she said of the plans for Friday’s home opener in Denver. “We’ll have an extended pregame show, an hour before the game, and postgame coverage. People in the state are connected to the team and they like to see what’s going on around the field.”