Fox Surprises Fans With a Treat: The World Series
Oct. 24, 1996
CONCORD, N.H. (AP) _ With last-minute heroics usually confined to the playing field, the Fox Television Network and Continental Cablevision worked out a deal to provide the World Series for Bristol, N.H., and several surrounding towns, even though the network isn't on their cable system.
``We have the World Series!'' a happy Tom O'Rourke of the cable company declared from his car telephone, a mere two hours before game time. ``As of tonight, but only for the World Series, Fox has given us special permission to carry the games.''
That was just fine with Jim Preusse, a transplanted New York Yankees fan who is a bartender at Peddlar's Round restaurant, where fans settled in Sunday night to watch the first game, only to find out at game time that the series wasn't on.
``I've waited 15 years for this,'' he said Wednesday night during the first inning of Game 4.
``I'm ecstatic!'' About eight people joined him at the bar to watch the game on the big screen. The crowd might have been larger, but many who showed up for the first three games had found other spots, out of town, for their World Series fix.
Those three games weren't on in the small towns of Bristol, Hebron, New Hampton, Bridgewater or Alexandria, total population 6,666.
O'Rourke, the cable company's director of governmental affairs, said the system that covers the area has a limited number of channels, and they don't include the Fox network.
``It was not a conscious decision not to carry the World Series to Bristol,'' he said. ``That would not be a good business decision.''
Continental Cablevision agreed to bump its local access channel in those communities to make room for the Yankees and Braves, ``so all we're missing are the local ads,'' Preusse said.
WMUR-TV in Manchester is a secondary Fox affiliate and carries some Fox sporting events. A spokesman said the station is carrying the series on two of its three channels in northern New Hampshire, but not on its main channel that covers the rest of the state.