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My Turn

Driving Fans to Drink

10/18/2010 3:22 PM

Bar-room quotes became a news staple Sunday in the New York area.

Cablevision’s carriage impasse with News Corp., which led to the local Fox affiliate coming off Cablevision, drove New York Giants fans to seek alternate means of watching the game against the Detroit Lions.

ESPN New York talked to fans at The Office: Beer Bar & Grill in Bridgewater, N.J., and found a fan who was unhappy to be there, another happy to be there and another who, horrors, had switched to CBS’s NFL pre-game show from the Fox one.

The New York Daily News tracked down fans watching at TGI Friday’s in Baychester, N.Y., and the Yankee Tavern Sports Bar in The Bronx (which might really be packed with fans if the New York Yankees make it into the World Series, on Fox, next week, even if the dispute is settled by then). They were mostly unhappy about the bucks they were shelling out.

The paper quote fans as seeing “greed” at the root of the dispute, and said the anger was split between the cable company and the programmer.

Cavanaugh’s Restaurant and Pub in Blue Point, N.Y., was “packed” with fans Sunday, the Bayport-BluePoint Patch Web site reported.  Again, comments were mixed as to whether Cablevision was holding fans “hostage” and would suffer drops if the outage persists, or whether Fox was hurting its own business. Not hurting Cavanaugh’s, though. ”It’s definitely not my fault, but we’re reaping the benefits,” proprieter Chris Cavanaugh said.

NJ.com found the patron scene at Madison Bar & Grill, a Hoboken, N.J., establishment wired with DirecTV, to be “deeper than it normally is,” according to the manager.

Seen any good bar-room stories lately?

April