Sussex being deprived of Eagles broadcasts

September 14, 2013

Once again Sussex County is deprived of Philadelphia sports being televised to the area. This time, it is the Philadelphia Eagles vs San Diego Chargers which will not be on live television, on Sunday, September 15.

Earlier this year, we asked for support from local fans to sign a petition, when we had a problem viewing Philadelphia baseball. Over 250 people stop signed a petition in two weeks’ time. Thank you for your support, because we have enjoyed viewing the Phillies on TV, once the hockey and basketball season was over.

I was not aware, but the only Phillies games televised by Mediacom were those on WRDE and game of the week. Now we are up to football season. There are two leagues in football: the American conference and the National conference. The American football conference are televised on CBS, and the National conference games are televised on FOX. This means when the NFL plays an away game with AFL team it is televised by FOX. Example, this Sunday, September 15, Chargers play the Eagles. Therefore it is broadcast by a CBS network. In Sussex County, CBS network is channel 13, out of Baltimore and brought to Sussex County by WBOC, in Salisbury. The Ravens play the Cleveland Browns in Baltimore, at the same time. This means Salisbury WBOC will be available on two channels in Sussex County televising the Ravens. To my knowledge, the Eagles game will not be covered by any channel which includes Comcast, Mediacom and Verizon.

This arrangement does not include Sunday night games which are broadcast by NBC, Monday night games covered by EXPN1 and Thursday night games which are covered by the National Football League station. WBOC has claimed exclusive rights to Sussex County. They are the primary reason ABC and CBS transmission from Philadelphia is not received in Sussex County on the Comcast networks.

A few years ago, I had a discussion with the manager of WBOC, at which time I asked why we could not view Philadelphia networks to receive Philadelphia news and sports events. His reply was, "when we are selling time to our advertisers, we want to be able to assure them their advertisement will be seen by the viewers in Sussex County." I asked why are channels coming out of Baltimore and Washington being blacked out also.

His reply was: "If he could black out Baltimore and Washington he would, but there is an agreement dating back many years which binds WBOC to Baltimore and Washington, and he cannot break it."

Therefore, if you want to view the NFL Eagles-Charger game live on Sunday, September 15, your choices are a satellite, or go to an establishment in Kent County, or try to purchase a ticket to the game and ride to Philadelphia.

I would say now is the time we should flood WBOC with phone calls or write letters to make them aware there are a great number of people who have lived here for many years or have recently moved here who would enjoy watching not only the Eagles on Sunday, but receive other sporting events from Philadelphia and surrounding areas, as well as hear Philadelphia news and weather forecasts. It is my opinion this is an example of greedy organizational management. They have no interest in who listens to their station, but in how much revenue they do obtain.

If you wish to be heard you can e-mail your opinion to

I don't know under what regulation or law this is possible. It is time for the FCC to review the matter? How can a business in one state prohibit the general public in a neighboring state from receiving programs which previously were available?

David H. Truitt

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