Cable customers shut out for Saints/Cowboys game
LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - It's been the hot topic all week long.
The biggest game left on the New Orleans Saints' regular season schedule is on Saturday, December 19th against the Dallas Cowboys. But unfortunately, many in southwest Louisiana won't be able to watch the Saints/Cowboys game from the comfort of their own homes.
Saturday night's Saints/Cowboys game is an NFL Network game. This game has been designated for the NFL Network before the season even began. So we've known this matchup would be on the NFL Network for months now. But now that New Orleans is trying to go 14-0, it makes this game a lot more significant.
If you have satellite TV, then you're probably all set.
But if you have cable, you will not be able to see the game in the Lake area.
The NFL Network only allows the home markets of the two teams to bid for the rights to show the game locally. So customers in Dallas and New Orleans can watch the game on cable.
But in southwest Louisiana, cable customers cannot.
Suddenlink Cable contacted 7News to discuss the situation. Their senior vice president of corporate communications Pete Abel spoke to 7News. He claims the NFL Network took an offer to carry the channel off of the table earlier this year.
"After negotiations this summer, the NFL Network made Suddenlink an offer in late September," Abel said. "We accepted that offer, started exchanging contract drafts, and were ready to move forward with adding their network to our lineup, and the NFL Network then withdrew that offer we had accepted. Not entirely sure the reasons why, but they did."
"We've heard from a number of customers. When we've explained the situation to them that we would like to add the NFL Network, we very much want to add the NFL Network, and that we were ready to sign a contract with the NFL Network before they yanked it away from us, customers tend to understand the situation," Abel said.
7News contacted the NFL Network to respond to Suddenlink's claims. Here is the written statement from the NFL Network:
"We have deals with four of the top five tv providers and agreements with hundreds of cable operators, satellite and telco distributors to carry NFL Network. We are disappointed we weren't able to reach an agreement with Suddenlink that was suitable for both of us, but we are still open to negotiations with them for NFL Network and the exciting new NFL RedZone channel."
So here's the bottom line:
If you have satellite TV, you probably have access to NFL Network and you can watch the game at home.
If you have cable, you cannot watch the game at home. You will have to either listen to the game on the radio or watch the game at a local establishment that has the NFL Network.
The Saints official website says KKGB 101.3 FM will carry the game broadcast.