The prexy of one of the cable industry’s top 10 multiple system cable operators, Brian L. Roberts of Comcast Corp., took the unusual step April 29 of publicly protesting a report that all locally televised National Basketball Assn. games of the Philadelphia 76ers will wind up on cable.
At a morning press conference in Philadelphia, Roberts said that a majority of local viewers will be disenfranchised by the reported move of all of the team’s road games next season from WPHL-TV to Prism and Sports Channel Philadelphia, both owned by the Cablevision Inc- NBC joint venture and both regional cable sports services.
Roberts made it clear that he was representing neither the cable industry nor “anybody else” but himself.
He said he had confirmed that if the owners of the NBA teams have their way, all 76ers games, not just road games, will be carried by cable-delivered Prism and Sports Channel. In that case, no games would be available to the 55% of all Philadelphians who do not subscribe to cable tv.