Most everyone dislikes the Fox broadcasts of the BCS games and lucky for fans this is the last year of their contract. However, there is a bigger storm brewing that could blackout millions of fans rooting for their school in a BCS game. Fox wants Time Warner to pay more to carry their over the air channel via cable. No need to worry about the Rose Bowl and title game since those are on ABC.
Fans that could be left in the dark besides the Dallas Metroplex area are the Florida fans in Tampa and Orlando who could miss the Gators' in the Sugar Bowl against Cincinnati. While Fox is an over the air channel, but a converter box is now required to get over the air channels which is not necessary if you are a cable subscriber; so the likelihood of a cable subscriber having a converter box is slim.
Do not expect a bluff by Fox to keep their signal going with Time Warner past their New Years Eve deadline:
Austin NBC affiliate KXAN was off the air for almost a month in the fall of 2008 after its owner, LIN TV, got in a fight with Time Warner over retransmission fees. They eventually hammered out a confidential compromise, and life returned to normal.
This is not just an off the cuff dispute but Time Warner and Fox have been going at negotiations for nearly a year:
Fox said it has for the past nine months attempted to "negotiate in good faith" with Time Warner Cable, the No. 2 U.S. cable operator, which serves some 14 million customers, and said those talks are ongoing.
But there is a "very likely possibility that Time Warner Cable may choose to no longer carry Fox Broadcasting, Fox Cable and Fox regional sports programming," Fox said
While, CBS executives feel that their over the air channels should come at a slightly charge:
CBS Corp CEO Les Moonves, who has been a very vocal supporter of getting pay-TV providers to pay cash for the right to carry his broadcast network, has publicly said he expects his company to be paid around 50 cents a subscriber.
That amount is half of what Fox is demanding for Time Warner to pay to broadcast for an over the air channel. Besides the possibility of BCS games being off the air so is the possibility of the Dallas Cowboys vs. Philadelphia Eagles NFL game that will decide the NFC East title. Or even more of a pressing issue is that the premiere of American Idol on January 12th and 13th could be off the air.
So, if a deal is not met by midnight on December 31st then do what one must do to watch TCU in their first ever BCS bowl game.