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No Twins joy for Charter customers

Tuesday was a terrible night for southeastern Minnesota baseball fans to discover that Charter Communications no longer carries all Twins games, with the Twins rallying to beat the New York Yankees 5-4 in 10 innings.

The Twins came from behind, scoring four runs in the eighth inning to tie the game and winning on a Joe Mauer RBI single in the 10th.

Although televised on Fox Sports North, the game wasn't available locally on Charter Communications, channel 30 in Rochester and Austin, and channel 61 in Red Wing.

Last week the Twins and FSN announced a 150-game Twins schedule, which is 34 more games than previous seasons. Those extra games and 11 more — including Tuesday night — were made available to all cable systems and satellite carriers in the five-state FSN region, but for an additional price.

Four distributors elected not to carry the additional games, including Charter Communications. The others are Mediacom, Cable One and Dish Network.


Mike Dimond, senior vice president and general manager of Fox Sports North, said negotiations are continuing.

"We talked all day (Tuesday) and could still reach an agreement in time for the game,'' Dimond said, "and hopefully we'll continue to negotiate. It's not all gloom and doom because there's a chance we will reach an agreement. But not right now.''

Charter will still televise 105 of the 150 scheduled games. In previous years, the additional 45 games were "free'' on over-the-air station WFTC-My 29.

In a statement, Charter said: "Televised sports is a big money business and FSN has purchased those additional 45 games that used to be free to Twins fans. FSN is looking to recover its cost for those additional 45 games from Charter and all our customers. We would like to provide these games and we would be willing to pay a reasonable amount for the games, but right now FSN is demanding a substantial amount of money from Charter and every Charter customer that wants to watch those games.

"We will continue to negotiate with FSN in order to reach an agreement for these extra games … one that is in the best interest of all customers.''

Upcoming affected games that will not be on Charter are noon Thursday (at New York), Saturday night at home against Oakland, April 14-15 at Tampa Bay, April 22 at home against Cleveland and April 26 at home against Tampa Bay.

Tonight's 6 p.m. game is scheduled to air on FSN and it will be shown on Charter.

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