Cablevision Set to Launch Mets Channel?

Cablevision Systems Corp.’s subscribers may be able to see the first pitch from the new SportsNet New York channel when it debuts Thursday night.

In an apparent Cablevision customer-service-representative-generated e-mail sent to a subscriber inquiring about the status of the Time Warner Inc./Comcast Corp./New York Mets-owned channel, Cablevision officials confirmed that SportsNet New York will be made available to “all existing Cablevision customer (sic) who subscribe to Family Cable and higher packages at no additional charge.” The e-mail said the network would launch at 5 p.m., followed at 8 p.m. by the Mets preseason Major League Baseball game against the Atlanta Braves.

The network will be slotted on channel 60 in all Cablevision markets except Litchfield, Conn., where it will replace GSN on channel 62. GSN will be moved to channel 88, according to the e-mail.

A SportsNet New York spokesman would only say, “We are committed to working out a deal and hope to finalize it prior to our launch.”

"Our optimism over reaching an agreement with SportsNet New York and recent active and productive negotiations resulted in a premature communication to some customers," Cablevision said in a prepared statement. "While we hope and expect to reach a final agreement to carry SportsNet New York, such an agreement is not yet completed. We will continue to keep our customers informed."

Cablevision slots regional sports services Yankees Entertainment & Sports Network on channel 70, Madison Square Garden Network on 71 and FSN New York on 72. The MSO owns the latter services, which were home to Mets games last season. MSGN aired New York Yankees games until 2001.

R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.