Royals

Cable dispute may mean Royals games on Fox Sports Kansas City won’t be available to Spectrum cable customers

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Kansas City Royals catcher Salvador Perez and first baseman Eric Hosmer.
Kansas City Royals catcher Salvador Perez and first baseman Eric Hosmer. jsleezer@kcstar.com

The Royals play the Houston Astros at 6:10 p.m. on Saturday, and at this point, the game may not be available to watch for all cable viewers in Kansas City.

Fox Sports Kansas City may not be available on the Spectrum cable system starting Saturday.

On Friday, Fox Sports Kansas City tweeted: “Spectrum Customers! You could miss the Royals on FOX Sports Kansas City. Take a stand.”

That tweet included a link to a website that said starting Saturday many of Fox’s affiliates, including Fox Sports Kansas City, may not be available on Spectrum, which was formerly known as Time Warner Cable. Other channels that apparently could be gone include Fox Sports, FX and the National Geographic Channel.

Fox News Channel, Fox Business and Fox 4 would not be not affected.

However, 151 Royals games are scheduled to be shown on Fox Sports Kansas City this season, so this would be a big deal for Royals fans.

“Obviously we’re concerned,” said Kevin Uhlich, the Royals’ vice president of business operations. “Our first priority is to make sure our fans have access to us. Fox is our partner. We’re hoping and trusting that between them and Charter and Spectrum that something can come together so fans won’t miss any games.”

The dispute is over carriage fees, and both sides have issued statements blaming the other.

“Fox and Charter Spectrum have an agreement to carry the Fox networks that Charter has chosen to ignore,” the Fox group said in a statement, according to Variety. “We are disappointed that despite our best efforts over many months to resolve the situation without disruption, Charter’s 16 million subscribers may lose access to a wide variety of programming, including telecasts of the St. Louis Cardinals and Blues, Kansas City Royals, Cleveland Cavaliers, Cincinnati Reds and many other MLB, NBA and NHL teams on Fox Regional Sports Networks, FX’s hit dramas ‘The Americans’ and ‘Feud,’ and National Geographic.”

Charter countered that Fox was issuing a threat.

“Fox is trying to gouge our customers using the increasingly common tactic of threats and removal of programming,” Charter Spectrum said in a statement, according to Deadline Hollywood. “They are attempting to extort Charter for hundreds of millions of dollars. We will continue to work towards a fair agreement.”

Pete Grathoff: 816-234-4330, @pgrathoff

Blair Kerkhoff: 816-234-4730, @BlairKerkhoff

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