A cable TV scare
I enjoyed spending Thanksgiving Day at the home of my daughter and son-in-law, Pam and Jeff Gray, in spite of the coronavirus. The traditional celebration included seven family members plus one guest. Five family members had other plans.
The home-prepared meal was plentiful and delicious: smoked turkey, baked ham, cornbread dressing, corn casserole, candied sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes and pecan pie. Afternoon activities included taking naps, watching classic movie reproductions on TV and shopping newspaper preprints for Black Friday retail store specials. A competitive card game climaxed a fun-filled day.
The week took a turn for the worse Friday after a full day of Christmas gift shopping. With interest turned to the Iron Bowl Saturday afternoon, I was shocked to learn from my car radio that the CBS television network, of which Channel 19-Huntsville is an affiliate, might not carry the game because of a contract dispute with Dish cable.
I went to Channel 19 when I reached home to see if I could gather more information.
I was referred to channel 37 (Dish), which offered an explanation from a Dish spokesman. He said Channel 19’s parent company is asking Dish to pay $1 billion for its contract renewal – a price, he said, more than what Dish is willing to pay.
Realizing that Dish is also the cable provider for my daughter and her husband and one of my three granddaughters, I dragged the only radio in the house out of the attic to see if it works. I was determined to find a way to tune in to the Alabama-Auburn game if it was not available on my TV.
I phoned my daughter at 11 a.m. Saturday to see if our plan to watch or listen to the game, or both, was still on. “Come on over,” she said. “Channel 19 is live and will continue to be until Dec. 2.”
Sure enough, the game was shown from start to finish. I enjoyed it more than any other in this virus-prolonged season, hoping that future 2020 games would be picked up by SEC or ESPN.
That hope was dashed when I got home and turned on the TV for a Saturday football recap. Up popped a listing on the nation’s top 25 teams, showing whom, where and when they’ll play next week. Sitting beside Alabama was the CBS logo with a 2:30 p.m. kickoff.