Time Warner Cable is offering select subscribers in Florida free access to In
Demand L.L.C.'s "NBA League Pass" or "NHL Center Ice" packages.
The move is designed to appease subscribers who were miffed that they
couldn't watch Orlando Magic National Basketball Association and Tampa Bay
Lighting National Hockey League games after Fox Cable Networks Group pulled the
Sunshine Network feed from Time Warner Dec. 31.
Fox and the MSO are in the midst of a contract dispute, with Time Warner
refusing to agree to Fox's demands for a big rate hike.
"From our point of view, this is seen as a retention tool," Time Warner
spokesman Mark Harrad said. The free pay-per-view offer expires at the end of
the NBA and NHL seasons.
But Sunshine found a way to fight back. The St. Petersburg Times
reported that Sunshine decided to pick up a Lightning game Monday night,
preventing Time Warner subscribers from seeing it on In Demand, which is only
allowed to offer local subscribers out-of-market games.