20 September 2007

Poof! FSN Makes Magic Disappear

Hardy-har-har-har, I know. It's a Thursday, I have a ton of schoolwork, and I need to entertain myself. Please forgive the entry title.

Anyway, there's still no agreement between Bright House Networks and Fox Sports Net to make Magic games viewable on basic cable. Earlier this summer, the Magic dumped their in-house production team to cut costs and awarded 35 of their games to FSN. But Bright House, the only cable-provider in the Central Florida area, wants FSN to be part of a "sports-tier package," which costs extra. Unless an agreement is reached soon, the Magic will be the only team in the thirty-team NBA that doesn't have free broadcasts of all its games. 42 of the Magic's games will be available on Sun Sports, which is free. But it's still a crappy situation.

And it just got crappier, as Tim Povtak reports (in not such strong language, I should add). Magic fans wanting to see how well Rashard Lewis fits in with Orlando are going to have to wait a while, because 11 of their first 16 games will be broadcast on FSN.

This issue couldn't come up at a worse time for the team. As the Sentinel reported weeks ago, Harris Rosen, a tremendous fill-in-the-blank, is trying to block construction of the team's new arena via a signature drive. To recap: if he gets the signatures he needs, approval of any sporting venue costing over $25 million will have to go public vote. The Orange County Commission is retaining lawyers and will fight Rosen, who's probably just bitter because the money is going to benefit THE CITIZENS OF ORLANDO rather than the fat-cats who stay at his I-Drive hotels. Rosen has an army of dedicated nincompoops followers going door-to-door to collect the signatures, and he's avoiding Maitland and Winter Park, cities with an apparently high concentration of Magic fans. Thus, a majority of the people who will receive visits from the signature-gatherers are fringe Magic fans at best. If they're currently on-the-fence on the Magic, might this current TV flap sway them to sign the petition? After all, why would the average resident want to pay for a new arena for a team that they can't even watch on TV?

Stop me if you've heard this one before: the Magic have gotten themselves into a huge mess, and their fans are suffering as a result.

In other news, the Bucks inexplicably matched the Heat's offer sheet to Charlie Bell, which will keep the disgruntled guard in Milwaukee despite his insistence that he doesn't want to play there. As a result, you can completely disregard this post I wrote a few days ago. Additionally, the Heat won't be adding defensive-stopper (and perfect Pat Riley player) Mickael Pietrus from Golden State because they couldn't put together a good enough trade package; shockingly, the offer of Jason Williams and Michael Doleac (remember him?) wasn't enough to make Chris Mullin OK the deal (Via Fanhouse). Thus, the Heat have had a mediocre offseason at best, and are no longer locks to make the postseason.

Forthcoming for the Magic is the start of training camp (Sept. 29th, a week from Saturday); Forthcoming of us at 3QC is a post regarding the fantasy value of some Magic players and a post or two in the starting lineup series, which I've managed to stall for over a week now. Maybe they'd be finished if I didn't have The Canterbury Tales to slog through.

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