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Fox Sports to cord-cutters: No Super Bowl for you

Consumer Reports News: June 20, 2013 03:38 PM

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If you don't subscribe to a pay TV service, you may not be able to get streaming access to next year's Super Bowl. That's the word from a Fox Sports VP, who told a sports business conference that the network may limit online access to the sporting event to authenticated subscribers of pay TV services that offer "TV Everywhere" services.

For the past two years, free online access to the event has been offered by CBS and the NFL. But Fox won the bidding war for next year's Super Bowl, and if it moves forward with the plan, millions of people won't be able to watch the event online.


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The reason is that while Fox does have TV Everywhere deals in place with some major TV service providers—including AT&T's U-verse, Dish, and Verizon's FiOS—it still lacks agreements with some of the country's largest cable operators, including Cablevision, Charter, Comcast, and Time Warner. While that probably helps push these operators to the negotiating table to get TV Everywhere deals in place by February, it could also spur some caustic complaints against Fox—and more important from an image standpoint, the NFL—by non-subscribers shut out of one of the biggest sporting events of the year.

If you watched the Super Bowl online last year, or cut the cable cord this year expecting you'd still be able to see the Super Bowl, let us know what you think about Fox limiting online access to authenticated subscribers. And if it does come to pass, what will you do instead?

James K. Willcox

   

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